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Additionally, legal controls limit free expression and behavior, restricting political discourse and dissent online.

Note: a previous version of this profile is available at United Arab Emirates, 2006-2007.

For example, in addition to blocking UAEprison.com, a site hosting testimonials of former prisoners and critiques of the government’s human rights practices, and the site of the U. The site encourages Americans to send letters to members of Congress to help Shahin.

S.-based Arab Times (arabtimes.com), ONI found that the censors blocked the Web site called “Save Zack Shahin” ( an online campaign calling for the release of U. Shahin is a former chief executive of a Dubai property developer and was charged, together with a former UAE minister, in April 2009 with seizing public money and harming state interest.31 Another example is the blocking of the site UAE Torture (uaetorture.com), which posted video clips of a UAE royal family member allegedly torturing an Afghan businessman.

Similarly, there are 10 articles which talk about penalties and punishments.”16 International advocacy groups have also expressed concerns over the draft law.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) says the pending draft law unlawfully restricts free expression and will unduly interfere with the media's ability to report on sensitive subjects, and that it includes provisions that would grant the government virtually complete control in deciding who is allowed to work as a journalist, as well as which media organizations are allowed to operate in the country.

This move was in response to speculations that some Internet cafés provide unfiltered Internet connections using Virtual Private Networks.28 Also, an online surveillance team was set up by Dubai police to carry out around-the-clock checks on the Internet.

The team, known as e-police, investigated a total of 222 cases in 2008.

He also said that the site contains indecent material that influences the young people towards delinquency.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates formed in 1971 after independence from Britain.

Each emirate maintains a large degree of independence, and the UAE is governed by a Supreme Council of Rulers consisting of the seven emirs of the emirates.

ONI test results show that Internet is filtered in this hub, and there are reports of other forms of censorship.4 For example, Dubai authorities interrupted the broadcast of two Pakistani TV stations, Geo News and Ary One World, in November 2007.

Geo News said the decision resulted from constant pressure by then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who had at the time implemented a “state of emergency.”5 Dubai allowed the two stations to resume broadcasting later following negotiations with the Pakistani government and Dubai Media City.6 The UAE continues to lead the Arab world in adoption of information and communication technology, according to a World Economic Forum report,7 and is expected to spend about .3 billion on information technology and communications hardware for schools, hospitals and other civil projects between 20.8 According to the Internet Telecommunication Union, Internet penetration in the UAE has increased from 36 percent in 2006 to an estimated 64 percent in 2008.9 The Arab Advisors Group states account penetration to be at approximately 25 percent.


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