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Saudi Arabia Bans Facebook

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the graven-images dept.

Censorship 227

gandhi_2 sends in a brief Associated Press piece on Saudi Arabia's blocking of Facebook. "An official with Saudi Arabia's communications authority says it has blocked Facebook because the popular social networking website doesn't conform with the kingdom's conservative values. ... He says Facebook's content had 'crossed a line' with the kingdom's conservative morals, but that blocking the site is a temporary measure." Some reports indicate that at least some individual Facebook pages can be reached from inside the kingdom. There hasn't been an official announcement; the source noted above requested anonymity. Earlier this year when Pakistan and Bangladesh banned Facebook, it was over particular content — cartoons of Mohammed — and the Saudi ban may prove similar once more details emerge.

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yep... (3, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216214)

... and nothing of value was lost.

(in either direction, IMO)

Re:yep... (2, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216228)

Hmm, actually...

Just yesterday there was some "draw offensive depictions of Mohammed" thing going on with the explicit goal of getting them blocked.

I wouldn't be surprised if this was related.

Re:yep... (0, Offtopic)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216446)

Conservative values.... Really....

Have they ever went to the City of Dubai? That place is more full of debauchery and sin than Las Vegas.

Re:yep... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216476)

And anybody that's been to Dubai would know that it is in the UAE, not Saudi Arabia. Next?

Re:yep... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216614)

And is full of Saudia arabians... It's where they go to look at strippers and drink booze.

Sorry, but lumpy is dead on, and you ASSUMED he said it's in the country, he never said that. but he is correct in it's FULL of saudis.

Re:yep... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34217116)

Kinda how Amsterdam is full of Americans. You're confusing the country for the people.

Re:yep... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216694)

Or likewise, Bahrain

Re:yep... (2, Funny)

poena.dare (306891) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216414)

In other news, the median Saudi IQ score went up a point.

Re:yep... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34217054)

In other news, the median Saudi IQ score went up a point.

And the rest of us thank you for continuing to hold down the low end of the curve.

Muslims - An Oppressive Menace (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216498)

Once again, Islam has show its true colors. Whenever people try to use their brains to think beyond the closest Mosque Muslims are forced to intervene. Oppression is a way of life for Muslims. That's why Saudi Arabia is run by a king instead of by democracy. That's why their women are forced to wear a full veil, even in free countries. That's why their women aren't allowed to drive. Muslim countries censor the internet because their love of Islam forces them to hate the truth.

Islam is a violent and oppressive curse on the world. Muslims are the terrorist foot-soldiers of Islam, and I for one have had enough.

Next election, I'm going to support the most xenophobic, bloodthirsty candidate I can find.

Re:Muslims - An Oppressive Menace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216632)

Next election, I'm going to support the most xenophobic, bloodthirsty candidate I can find.

Becouse that's what you are.

Re:yep... (4, Insightful)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216692)

On the contrary, the loss of the right of an entire nation of individuals to access certain media via the Internet is a tragic loss. Yes, the content in question is largely vacuous and no great loss, but the loss of the liberty is definitely not trivial.

Re:yep... (3, Insightful)

geckipede (1261408) | more than 3 years ago | (#34217012)

This is nowhere near the top of the list of liberties that the Saudis are lacking. Compared to everything else that's already in place, that's been in place for decades, which is accepted... yes, this is trivial.

Re:yep... (2, Funny)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34217138)

Also, since he said "in either direction", I should point out that I'm extremely upset that I will no longer be able to find random burqa-clad hotties to cyber-sex with. This is a disaster of epic proportions.

Does anyone really care anymore... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216218)

.. what websites all these backwards countries ban and block?

We get it. They're against anything that lets people speak publicly against Islam supremacy.

Re:Does anyone really care anymore... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216650)

>> all these backwards countries

Yeah, and the US government, media and public - all - just love wikileaks, eh? Kudos to hypocrisy.

Re:Does anyone really care anymore... (5, Insightful)

Joe U (443617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216662)

>> all these backwards countries

Yeah, and the US government, media and public - all - just love wikileaks, eh? Kudos to hypocrisy.

I seem to be able to get to wikileaks from the US.

I seem to be able to make up my own mind about what I can and can not read.

temporary measure (2, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216220)

Ya, until they can either blackmail or threaten FB into compliance.

Re:temporary measure (2, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216362)

Threaten them with what, loss of a miniscule market?

Re:temporary measure (1)

Omegamogo (1388313) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216648)

Not sure if I would call 2.5 million users a minuscule market. A full 10% of the country is subscribed to FB

http://www.internetworldstats.com/middle.htm

And SA is a very, very young country, demographically speaking. The national median age is 21. IIRC the 15-25 age bracket is the most populated one in Saudi.

That said, I highly doubt there will be any pressure going on here; quickly-reversed blocking of websites like FB has happened before. Imageshack and Wikipedia have been blocked for a while, then promptly unblocked.

Re:temporary measure (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216718)

2.5 out of 500 million is not much, no. And those 2.5 are muslims which the rest of the world hates anyway.

Re:temporary measure (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#34217154)

According to Facebook user stats [facebook.com] , that's pretty small. It's 37th on the list of top Facebook countries. That constitutes less than 1/2 of 1% their users. That's not something you'd want to lose, but that's not something you'd risk a successful model to chase, either.

Re:temporary measure (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216838)

Not threatening Facebook as a company but I'm sure there's some crazy ass fundy willing to publicly threaten Zuckerberg's life. Hell, they did that over a South Park episode and Comedy Central caved.

Re:temporary measure (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34217156)

Not threatening Facebook as a company but I'm sure there's some crazy ass fundy willing to publicly threaten Zuckerberg's life.

I doubt that death threats are anything new to Zuckerberg. He probably gets them every day from privacy kooks.

Hell, they did that over a South Park episode and Comedy Central caved.

Hollywood execs are not reknowned for courage.

Re:temporary measure (3, Funny)

linumax (910946) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216370)

Not really, unlike RIM, it's not practical or even commercially sound for Facebook to abide by KSA's "conservative values". There is also no inherent benefit on Saudi Arabia's part to have Facebook operate there. Except maybe monitoring citizens, but they already have full control over any means of communication so that's just unnecessary.

The only reason I can see for them calling this a temporary measure is a PR move. They are shifting the blame on Facebook, saying they would unblock it as soon as it's compatible with their values. Of course everyone knows what's going on, but that's how PR works. They opened a university or two to women and last week they got elected to UN's women's rights agency. Maybe now their shooting for a position on Internet Freedoms board.

.

Re:temporary measure (3, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216814)

> ...last week they got elected to UN's women's rights agency.

You need to put "elected" in sneer quotes. The candidates for these positions are always determined in advance by backroom deals, with the number of candidates normally equalling the number of openings. This one was actually unusual in that there were 11 candidates for 10 positions. Of course, the organization itself only exists for propaganda purposes. It will not benefit women in any way (except for those female politicians who use it to futher their careers).

Re:temporary measure (1)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216536)

The smart thing would be for FB to simply ignore them. You want to take your toys and leave because of your irrational belief in an invisible ruler of the universe? Fine.

Replacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216738)

A state Islamic and Mohammad approved replacement was already announced,

      BurkaBook

Can't post a link in Arabit (thanks to Google translate).... Slashdot eats UTF-8 - sad, sad!

No problem (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216230)

A little AI and a routine to overlay an abaya on any image that looks remotely female and all is well.

Re:No problem (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216242)

A little AI and a routine to overlay an abaya on any image that looks remotely female and all is well.

Micheal Jackson in an abaya. Not a bad thought ...

Re:No problem (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216736)

And a system that prevents women from posting on the walls of men unless they're a male relative, who by happy coincidence is likely to at some stage become their husband. Nothing says family values like boinking a first cousin.

And national productivity went up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216240)

over 300%

President Obama suggested the Republican party might wish to propose a similar act.

Re:And national productivity went up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216816)

Well, zero multiplied by four is still zero.

anonymizers built into browsers by default? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216282)

Ok, a million jokes about facebook aside:

The internet will only be free when we make it free by technical means. While there are little projects here and there to provide anonymity, there's nothing large scale, trivial to use, and adopted by the masses in high volumes.

Web browsers authors could change the future of the world here. If they would build such tech into web browsers as easy as checking a prominent preference button it could make a huge difference in the ability of governments to repress their people.

It wouldn't even have to be perfect! Maybe the CIA and KGB can find you, but if you just raise the bar for *everybody*, that alone would contribute greatly to avoiding the future where every group in power anywhere gets to thrust their morality down everyone else's throat.

Anonymous speech is the only speech that is guaranteed to be free from retributions. Yes, it can be abused, but that is the cost of ANY freedom.

Re:anonymizers built into browsers by default? (1)

longacre (1090157) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216360)

If they would build such tech into web browsers as easy as checking a prominent preference button it could make a huge difference in the ability of governments to repress their people.

It would be easy enough for these countries to simply outlaw use of such browsers. Sure it would be harder to enforce than blocking individual sites, but it would only take a couple dozen public stonings for the masses to capitulate.

Re:anonymizers built into browsers by default? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216372)

The internet will only be free when we make it free by technical means.

Yes, well, you can forget about it... until you cut the wire

Re:anonymizers built into browsers by default? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216418)

I think a good start would be a move to SSL everything. It doesn't make sites unblockable, but it makes it much harder to block them without being caught or causing the type of severe inconvenience that will get people to object (eg, censors wouldn't be able to block a single facebook profile - it would be all of facebook, or nothing at all). It's not a complete solution, but it's a start.

Re:anonymizers built into browsers by default? (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216678)

SSL everything, then de-centralize DNS. The result would be anarchy, for the censors.

Re:anonymizers built into browsers by default? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34217168)

The result would be anarchy, period. You can bet your ass that the "decentralized DNS" record for fox.com would permanently point to goatse. As would any other record that any significant group of technically-minded people found objectionable.

Re:anonymizers built into browsers by default? (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#34217144)

"I think a good start would be a move to SSL everything. It doesn't make sites unblockable, "

And use an anonymous proxy. Problem solved.

Re:anonymizers built into browsers by default? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216470)

I agree. Get some funding and I'm on board to build it.

No big surprise here. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216294)

Yet more proof that religious folk are vulnerable to the creation of oppressive sociopolitical groups. It doesn't matter that (obviously) many folks in Saudi Arabi want to access Facebook. The powers that be say they can't, in the name of "God". Tell me how a group of atheists, or better yet, agnostics, could ever create something so ridiculous? Seriously, give me one example.

Re:No big surprise here. (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216342)

Facebook equals Farmville equals loss of productivity = ban Facebook.

Hey, that was easy!

Re:No big surprise here. (1)

seven of five (578993) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216352)

The atheists that created soviet Russia told everybody they couldn't, in the name of the state. This was before they'd heard about the Streisand Effect.

Re:No big surprise here. (2, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216420)

The atheists that created soviet Russia

Karl Marxk == Mohammed
Das kapital == Quran

Marxist are atheists in a technical sense, but they display the same amount of blind fanaticism as religious people.

Re:No big surprise here. (2, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216792)

Not to mention portraits of the prophets everywhere, worship rituals, religious processions (with mandatory attendance), holy scripture and a priest class.

The last part is even funnier if you consider that the primary claimed benefit of communism was a "class-less society".

Re:No big surprise here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34217166)

Thank you for this sane thread. {Modded UP}

Ug (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 3 years ago | (#34217160)

Marxist != Totalitarian Communist
Capitalist != Fascist

Stalin was not a Marxist. He was a totalitarian murderous dictator who claimed to be a Marxist. Just like Hitler wasn't a Christian, even though all of his soldiers had "Gott mit uns" or "God is with us" engraved on their belt buckles. Corrupt leaders will exploit whatever ideology is necessary in order to stay in power.

Re:No big surprise here. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216538)

The atheists that created soviet Russia told everybody they couldn't, in the name of the state.

I am constantly amazed by those to whom people dogmatically worshipping Lenin, Stalin, and the unproven theories of communism (despite all the evidence to the contrary) pass for atheists.

Re:No big surprise here. (3, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216764)

If there can be so few "True Atheists", then it seems most people want a "Religion". Whether it one of the popular religions, or worship of the Great Communist Leader, or "Gaia", or "The Best Team in the world, and I'm willing to bash anyone who says otherwise", they just have a need to be part of a Greater Thing.

Arguably atheism was the initial state (unless you believe the ancestors of humans and primates had religion too which would be interesting ;) ), and then religion emerged and more importantly _outcompeted_ atheism.

So as long as humans remain humans, plain atheism doesn't look like it would become a large majority. The "substrate" and environment has to change significantly. But I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.

Even if God etc doesn't exist, as long as the placebo effect exists (and remains significant), certain types of religions will outcompete atheism over the long run. Because strict atheism will pose no net benefits[1], whereas certain religions would produce benefits via the placebo effect. So as long as the net benefits outweigh the costs of a religion, adherents as a whole would benefit more from that religion than from atheism.

Some religions have/had very high costs of course, but not all. Plus the costs and benefits have to be taken across the group as a whole, because some religions while costing a few individuals a lot (their entire lives in fact), would benefit the group more overall.

[1] I believe most atheists would say atheism is a result not a cause, producing benefits is not applicable - it's just what happens when you hold a certain world view.

Re:No big surprise here. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216892)

If there can be so few "True Atheists", then it seems most people want a "Religion". Whether it one of the popular religions, or worship of the Great Communist Leader, or "Gaia", or "The Best Team in the world, and I'm willing to bash anyone who says otherwise", they just have a need to be part of a Greater Thing.

There is a nice book named "The Biological Evolution of Religious Mind and Behavior" (Springer Verlag) that says that this need to being a part of a Greater Thing is precisely what evolved in us a long time ago, for some quirky reproductive fitness reason.

Re:No big surprise here. (2, Interesting)

Bobakitoo (1814374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34217192)

Because strict atheism will pose no net benefits[1], whereas certain religions would produce benefits via the placebo effect. So as long as the net benefits outweigh the costs of a religion, adherents as a whole would benefit more from that religion than from atheism.

I think rational decision making is a huge benifit to society. Making decision base on faith is actualy a liability. The only "adventage" of faith base decision is a selfish one; fuck up are due to the will of God and so you canot be blamed for it.

Re:No big surprise here. (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34217188)

They ARE atheists. They're simply atheists who mindlessly believe in a whole host of secular bullshit. I don't think atheism means what you think it means.

Re:No big surprise here. (2, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216388)

Yet more proof that religious folk are vulnerable to the creation of oppressive sociopolitical groups.

Half right The US props up the Saudi Arabian theocracy because an oppressed Saudi Arabia is a Saudi Arabia which delivers energy and military supremacy to the US without anyone having the chance to question it.

But Facebook isn't dangerous any more than cannabis is dangerous. That said, ban it and you'll remind the locals of your power while lazy foreigners wave their arms abourt over a loud but minor detail. It's the opposite strategy to giving US citizens guns and making them think they're well defended against a tyranny, but the effect is the same: do something irrelevant for distraction.

Meanwhile, you continue imposing your will.

Re:No big surprise here. (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216554)

On the other hand, if you ban things, you also remind the people that they are powerless. Humans inherently dislike feeling as though they are not in control of their lives. Thus, in the long run, such bans are usually detrimental to the stability of a regime, particularly if you're regularly banning things that are highly popular. Eventually, the citizens discover that they have enough strength in numbers to seize control, and they do. When this happens, it is usually bloody.

Don't get me wrong---I'm not saying that Saudi Arabia is likely to rise up and overthrow their king over Facebook, of course. Farmville, on the other hand.... :-D

(Yes, this is sarcasm. Mostly. You'd be amazed at how militant some people get over Farmville. I really don't get it. It's just a game....)

Re:No big surprise here. (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216922)

Well, I somewhat agree. The US has been stable partly because it's so good at delivering empty platitudes to its citizens in between times when the promise isn't delivered at all (Alien and Sedition Act, abolitionist speech, Mutual Film Corp. v. Industrial Commission of Ohio, Office of Censorship, Smith Act and McCarthyism, pre-DJB crypto, etc). When the Middle and Far East realise that this method is way more effective than honest censorship, maybe people will work it out.

Re:No big surprise here. (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34217214)

Half right The US props up the Saudi Arabian theocracy because an oppressed Saudi Arabia is a Saudi Arabia which delivers energy and military supremacy to the US without anyone having the chance to question it.

WTF? How does that make him "half-right"? Because Saudi Arabia would be a liberal paradise if it weren't for US support?

I'm starting to think that blaming the US is a religion in and of itself for some folks. I swear, I could say "looks like it might rain tonight", and some twit would jump out of the bushes and yell "Ah, but the weather patterns in this part of the globe would be completely different if American Big Business protected by the Military-Industrial Complex wasn't pouring CO2 into the atmosphere!". I mean, sure, ok, there's some teeny degree of factuality to the statement, but seriously, get a life.

Take Offense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216300)

I think FB should ban all countries that ban it, so in case they change their minds, they'll have to apologise before getting access back.

Oh well, what a pity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216310)

Until facebook can be used to transport oil, I don't think the rest of the world will notice.

Re:Oh well, what a pity (1)

longacre (1090157) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216392)

I think this could be accomplished with a few UI tweaks in Farmville. Zynga: You owe me royalties if I ever see an "Oilville" game.

Sah-Weet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216332)

Great! Now my female friends will stop getting disturbing (albeit poorly written) random friend requests from horny Arabs in these countries.

As if that's gonna stop anyone with a few skills.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216336)

Of course this is all but pointless with the number of free and for pay VPNs and proxy servers. Hell, I'll even create a "shared" ssh account on my linux server and folks can just SOCKS5 to their hearts' content.

***this just in...Saudi bans the Internet****

Shit......

You can't pick and choose (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216348)

I'm not one to shed a tear for facebook but maybe ISPs should block Saudi Arabia entirely from the internet. See how they feel about censorship then.

Re:You can't pick and choose (1)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216542)

You'll be surprised how many ISP's actually already do block certain countries. Nigeria and China are frequently blocked. Not just by ISP's, but also by websites individually. (And yes I did double-check that it was not China itself doing the blocking.)

Isn't Iran the officil evil country ??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216408)

I thought Iran was the bad Islamic country...

Sticking your fingers in your ears (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216412)

From TFA:

He says Facebook's content had 'crossed a line' with the kingdom's conservative morals

But the contents of Facebook, and the web in general, are created by millions of people,
yet the article is written as if Facebook's contents are created by one person organisation.
Blocking access to content from such a huge number of people (regardless of how inane a lot of it is)
is like sticking your fingers in your ears (and everyone else's) and humming.

Internet Blackholes... (5, Informative)

Nrrqshrr (1879148) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216468)

Well, I live in one of those internet black holes, myself. Tunisia. In Tunisia, Youtube, Dailymotion, and many sites were, since 2007, blocked due to "offensive" content (read: politically dissident). What that caused was two things, mainly: More dissidence, and the banalisation of proxies. Right now kids in elementary schools know how to fiddle with proxies and DNS settings to get around the blockade, and despite the govt's sincere efforts, we still watch our vids on youtube (http://www.tekiano.com/net/web-2-0/2-7-1719/youtube-15eme-site-le-plus-visite-en-tunisie.html French blog, sorry). At some point, FB was blocked too, but this nearly caused a riot (Yes, people didn't riot because of a tax increase but they started getting angry when they couldn't play Farmville). This, of course, tought our gov't one thing: being all official about blocking FB is an open invitation to a riot. Thus, they decided to do it diferently and now they block Tunisian IPs from certain pages with... delicate content. (this, I guess, was done hand to hand with Facebook's teams). I do not expect the Saudi gov't to hold on their bloackade for too long, they should play it the smooth way and learn rom their fellow retarded govts.

Re:Internet Blackholes... (1)

rrr00bb (1824902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216976)

Thanks for being brave and telling it like it is! Imagine either outsourcing to one of these internet black holes - or simply running a business from the black hole, where having internet access is like having the power being on. Somebody posts something that offends the gov, and your plan to host your marketing videos on youtube and customer relations via facebook no longer work. It's the road to continued subservience to the countries that won't act like this. It's a painful truth that all great change starts out as blaspheme in the eyes of somebody, and it's a victimless 'crime' when there's nothing useful it it anyway. People everywhere just need to grow up and deal with it; more specifically in these cases, let God himself deal with it. There have been a-holes for as long as there have been humans. And there are unresolvable conflicts between different religions and the truth itself; the truth, or your sincere beliefs will always offend someone.

BREAKING NEWS-AIR BANNED IN MUSLIM COUNTRIES!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216480)

Latest news in the Arabic World-We are censoring breathable air because it violates some sort of Islamic Law. We may consider allowing its use for things like beating our wives,burying people to their heads and then throwing rocks at them, or strapping bombs to ourselves and running into schools. That is all.

lets do some jesus and pope stuff now (1)

chronoss2010 (1825454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216574)

then things be ok

Why I mod'ed up parent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216730)

I mod'ed this guy up for two reasons:

1. He's pointing out some hypocrisy.

2. He's posting at -1 because he offended some Apple fanboys with an opinion.

Am I retarded? (1)

chucklebutte (921447) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216590)

Isn't it when you make your entire facebook profile private no one can see it? Right? Regardless if you have an account or not? So if this is the case why do stories keep popping up about law enforcement busting people and stuff like this countries scanning profiles? Am I retarded? Even if you have your profile private except for friends, people can still see what you post? If so someone tell me how, I want to troll private facebook accounts!

If I am right, and you cannot see anything on a private profile, then this is just poor decisions by idiots, and we shouldn't be giving them the time of day by putting stories like this on the front page... Don't want people to see what you are doing, what you are thinking, and everything else that makes social networking sites what they are, then make your shit private! Or just don't use them at all... Also I blame religion!

Tell ya what... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216594)

...I wipe my ass with the Qur'an and SA's stupid conservative laws. Muhammad was a stupid pedophile and if SA didn't have oil we would have carpet bombed that shithole eons ago.

Abdullah Hamed (www.indiesaudi.com) (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216660)

everyone,

I am a saudi who lives in saudi and here is my point of the story.

Saudi's (communications and information technology) has a solution of the shelf that blocks pornographic sites automatically (we got VPN so dont worry we get our pr0ns).

This solution keeps its own database and that external database messes up sometimes and blocks stuff that should be blocked. google and secondlife were blocked before and were unblocked. Further more, political website and radical islamic websites are blocked as requested by the government for national security.

facebook's url that was blocked today was (www.facebook.com/home.php) but if you use (www.facebook.com) it works perfectly. so it apparent that the blocking was due to a mess up in the database of the off the shelf solution.

any questions? :D

Re:Abdullah Hamed (www.indiesaudi.com) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216722)

This solution keeps its own database and that external database messes up sometimes and blocks stuff that should be blocked.

This solution keeps its own database and that external database messes up sometimes and blocks stuff that shouldn't be blocked.

Boo-hoo, conservative values my... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216716)

Banning the Facebook, banning the BlackBerry

Seriously though, if they're going to start banning things in their country, we should do the same and ban them from things in our country... yes, yes OK, I know RIM is Canadian... so let's only ban them from one thing right now...

Let's start with Airplanes.

Your turn, KSA...

Ignorant slashdoter americans (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216742)

Ignorant slashdotting Americans put Pakistan and Saudi in one level. Pakistan are sufferring only because of America War on Terror, so stop your bullshits. before war on terror, Pakistan was most progressive state in science technology and many suh fields. Pakistan nuclear scientist AQ Khan is modern day einstein. Pakistani government do not have blashpemy law like Saudi and we don't have barbaric punishment like Saudi. So please dont put us in one level.

Server Errors... (1)

ben2umbc (1090351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216782)

Well I read that Facebook's Saudi Arabian servers kept crashing when people searched for the name Mohammed, so its probably for the best.

If you are there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216790)

If you are there, why are you putting energy into anything besides GETTING OUT OF THERE?

just a different flavor of "offensive" (2, Interesting)

deepsky (11076) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216832)

Today I've discovered that The Pirate Bay website is blocked in Italy. Previously the italian providers were forced to configure the DNS to resolve it as 127.0.0.1, but that was easy to circumvent. Now, the IP is totally unreacheable from Italy. To look at TPB one has to use a proxy, a tunnel, etc.

A similar measure is in force for unauthorized gambling sites.

I don't gamble and I don't care too much for torrents, but the very idea that my government decides which sites I can visit and which I cannot sends a cold shiver down my spine.

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216934)

The first step is for religiously ruled societies to be isolated from the worldwide network and harm their economy and civil stability. The second step is for them to lose economic clout (mostly due to fossil fuels being obsoleted). Eventually, this will make it untenable for them to ignore their international relations as they become increasingly dependent on global goodwill. All theocracies are going to be dead within one or two generations, and (pardon the pun) God willing, so will religion.

Unfortunately, all this will be hard to accomplish in the case of the United States, because there the problem of religion is a somewhat different one: The government does not *need* to impose religiously inspired censorship on the network, because the majority of the population is already too deeply entrenched in religion to be educated. In some sense, the US needs the opposite of what Iran, Saudi-Arabia and China need: Not more power to the people, but just a term or two of a government telling the idiots "STFU, we know what's best for you; here's your free healthcare, here's your free secular education; that wasn't so bad, was it?"

Redundant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34216978)

it has blocked Facebook because the popular social networking website doesn't conform with the kingdom's conservative values. ... He says Facebook's content had 'crossed a line' with the kingdom's conservative morals, but that blocking the site is a temporary measure.

Department of redundancy department, located in the department dealing with and otherwise handling redundant departmental affairs dealing with both redundancy and departmental redundancy.

Getting banned by the Saudies is no biggie (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34216996)

They ban everyone for every reason unless and until they are given a reason why not.

The major difference between them (Wahabi) and the Taliban is that the Saud family have had money since the fifties.

I find the same mechanisms of oppressive paternalism are also occurring in North Korea, Burma(Myanmar) Indonesia,

Same (un)reasoning attitude.

Same appeal to the irrational.

Same hatred/fear of everything and everybody.

Saudi Arabia will destroy itself (5, Interesting)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34217064)

First off, a little disclaimer:

Westerners often tend to conflate Wahhabism with Islam, but that is a critical mistake that undermines any clear understanding of the Middle East and Islam itself. The movement has taken Islam from being an unquestioned powerhouse of intellectual and cultural innovation to being perceived as a force of stagnation. Islam is not the problem, the cultural baggage that it is presently burdened with is the issue. Wahhabism itself is only a few centuries old, and in that time it has deeply undermined the perception of Islam in the Western world, and undermined the social, intellectual and economic development of those countries where it has taken root.

It's why women went from being the closest advisors to the Prophet himself, to being deeply despised and treated as subhuman in certain corners of the Islamic world. The najib, the bourqua, the many, many restrictions on women - these came from outside of Islam, and were integrated into the narrative of what Islam is about. Many in the West fail to understand that Wahhabism and the myriad of ancient tribal customs that were given an opportunity for resurgence are not found in the Qu'ran.

One can find the seeds of Wahhabism. The passages and the bits of text that would inspire such an interpretation, but to say it is a legitimate part of Islam would be false. (Wahhabists would strongly disagree. ;) )

But Wahhabism is a factor that must be dealt with regardless of how legitimate it is. So here we find ourselves looking at its biggest proponent - and it's largest victim - Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has siphoned its oil wealth off to fund the lifestyle of countless princes vaguely related to the royal family, while the rest of the young-skewing country faces unemployment and poverty.

The ruling class has tried to embrace the radical Wahhabist interpretation of Islam and use it as a uniting force in the country, while accumulating for itself the material pleasures of modernity purchased with the natural resources of the nation. It hasn't really worked. It's resulted in the aforementioned elites living the high life, while the impoverished masses watch the encroachment of western culture they are taught to despise.

It's a nation ruled by oppression and undermined with a deep-seated cognitive dissonance regarding technology, culture, religion and how it all interacts on a moral and practical level.

It's a climate that is intellectually bankrupt, as it crushes new ideas while longing for the modernity it simultaneously craves / despises. It wants to mesh 16th century mores with 21st century technology. So far it has operated under the illusion that such things are possible, as the country has simply purchased what it desires from the West. But it doesn't develop much of anything on its own. The culture of Wahhabism silences innovation. It creates an environment where fear, oppression, absolutely pathological misogyny are entrenched in the social and legal fabric of the nation.

Saudi Arabia has tried to improve its position by having students study overseas, but they quickly become deeply alienated from the world that stands so far apart from the one they come from. Ideally, the men (and they are almost always men) would return with new ideas and new perspectives. But they so often end up bitter radicals. They see how their nation is widely perceived as a backwards ocean of sand that is valued for its oil and little else. Furthermore, the Western world they encounter is full of temptations they have been groomed to hate, but the promise of economic prosperity they cannot hope to find at home.

The home they return to is a stifling environment of institutionalized corruption (the name Saudi Arabia literally means "Arabia that belongs to the House of Saud"), intellectual stagnation where new ideas are deeply frowned upon, and constant reminders of the morally corrupt world they've left behind.

What hope is there for a country like that?

Even if they didn't come back as radicals, the obstacles they'd face would be absolutely enormous. You can send your students to the best universities in the West, but if they're coming back to a nation where a man can be detained by the morality police for touching his pregnant wife (they are unclean!) who fainted in a grocery store, then you're wasting your time and money. It's not fertile ground for new ideas, it's simply a perpetual customer for other people's innovations.

Until the oil spigots run dry. And then it will be neither a customer, nor an innovator. The ruling class will close ranks even further to protect itself and its wealth, while the rest of the country boils over.

Blaming Islam is wrong. I don't say that out of any politically correct fear of what someone might accuse me of, but intellectual honesty. Blaming those corrupt individuals who exploit their interpretation as a tool of oppression is what we should focus our efforts on. One should keep in mind the violent spasms of Christian sects throughout history and how they serve as a sample of what can be done with The Bible and and a perverted mindset. Members of the Spanish Inquisition and the Unitarian Universalist churches have gained their views on the world and society from the same book.

Painting all followers of Islam with the same brush is insane and counterproductive. But we can't afford to lose sight of how this nation is undermining itself, and the security of others through its reckless pursuit of a cultural dead-end.

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