Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Internet Laws In Oman

Oman – The country of good news
Those who live in Oman will know that there is certainly NOT a free press of any description here. The main newspapers are owned and controlled by establishment figures and are very, very strong on selfcensorship - nothing gets reported at all that might possibly be construed as questioning Government or the establishment figures, no real crime reports, no court reports, no effective questioning of anything important. The Omani papers make the UAE and Bahrain papers seem agressive and open. Really, its that bad.

The only hope for Oman is the internet, you'd think. But wait.

Internet use in Oman is regulated by Omantel’s Terms & Conditions, which mandate that users “not carry out any unlawful activities which contradict the social, cultural, political, religious or economical values of the Sultanate of Oman or could cause harm to any third party …. Any abuse and misuse of the Internet Services through e-mail or news or by any other means shall result in the termination of the subscription and may result in the proceedings of Criminal or Civil lawsuits against the Customer.”

To use the Internet, individuals, companies, and institutions are asked to sign an agreement not to publish anything that destabilizes the state; insults or criticizes the head of state or the royal family; questions trust in the justice of the government; creates hatred toward the government or any ethnicity or religion; promotes religious extremism, pornography, or violence; promotes any religious or political system that contradicts the state's system; or insults other states. Users must also agree not to promote illegal goods or prescription drugs over the Internet.

Omantel imposes additional physical restrictions on Internet access in Internet cafés. Individuals or companies wishing to open an Internet café must submit a floor plan for the proposed site. The plan must be designed so that the computer screens are visible to the floor supervisor. No closed rooms or curtains are allowed that might obstruct view of the monitors.22 Moreover, Internet café operators are asked to install proxy servers to monitor and log user activity.

for more detail see http://opennet.net/research/profiles/oman

1 comment:

  1. The iternet cafe near Hamptons and the bowling centre (its also a pool and snooker hall- sorry im new dont know names) is totally enclosed. You go upstairs and its all really enclosed booths.


If you wish to post anonymously, please pick a nickname by selecting the Name/URL option, or at least sign off your comment with one! I will delete comments I find objectionable or needlessly inflammatory. Sorry for the word verification.... OMG the spam has gotten BAD these past 12 months... trying to avoid making one log in...