For and Against have a Proxy Server in UAE. what are the reasons for both?

Essay by manal_ali December 2003

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I believe that having a proxy has a good side and a bad side. Its important to have a proxy server to ban sites that has inappropriate issues.

The UAE government has advocated Internet censorship via a proxy service maintained by Etisalat. The proxy refuses access to URLs requested if they are on a list of banned sites or if a content check of the site by the proxy server turns up objectionable material.

In many ways, the cultural and religious underpinnings of the UAE have directed the course for Internet censorship. The Emirians have requested that safeguards be put on the internet. Many citizens requested from Etisalat to set up a proxy service whereby a direct internet connection is not available because they were worried about the spread of pornography as well as religious and political material through the worldwide network. Proxy makes things easier on the parents because they cannot be with their children all the time while they are surfing the net.

The proxy server is only in place for individual household usage. Businesses and academic institutions that connect to the internet via a dedicated line avoid the proxy server. Etisalat claimed that the proxy is there only to protect family values so it is necessary for firms to use it.

Talking about the bad side of having a proxy server is that the Emirates Internet proxy in the UAE caches web pages that are requested through it, and this can become a problem for webmasters who have content that is continuously being updated. The problem is when you have a page which is updated each week, but the emirates proxy displays a month old version of the web page which doesn't show you the updated page.