Monthly Archives: November 2015

Internet censorship in China

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Internet censorship in China  is one the most severe in the world. It is based on a big variety of laws and administrative regulations.

Internet limits in China are considered more extensive and more advanced than in any other country in the world. The governmental authorities not only block website content but also monitor the Internet access of individuals. This called The Great Firewall of China. Today there are about 30,000–50,000 internet police in China employed to enforce Chinese internet laws.

No unit or individual may use the Internet to create, replicate, retrieve, or transmit the following kinds of information:

  1. Inciting to resist or breaking the Constitution or laws or the implementation of administrative regulations;
  2. Inciting to overthrow the government or the socialist system;
  3. Inciting division of the country, harming national unification;
  4. Inciting hatred or discrimination among nationalities or harming the unity of the nationalities;
  5. Making falsehoods or distorting the truth, spreading rumors, destroying the order of society;
  6. Promoting feudal superstitions, sexually suggestive material, gambling, violence, murder;
  7. Terrorism or inciting others to criminal activity; openly insulting other people or distorting the truth to slander people;
  8. Injuring the reputation of state organizations;
  9. Other activities against the Constitution, laws or administrative regulations.

The most popular methods on Intenet blocking in China:

  1. IP blocking. The access to a certain IP address is denied. If the target Web site is hosted in a shared hosting server, all Web sites on the same server will be blocked.
  2. DNS filtering and redirection. The DNS doesn’t resolve domain names or returns incorrect IP addresses.
  3. URL filtering.
  4. Packet filtering

And several others methods.

Also it is known that China blocks many VPN service providers.

That is why it is better to test it before buying.

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How to open blocked sites in UAE without any software?

Dubai-Abu-Dhabi-UAE-United-Arab-EmiratesWhether you are a techie guy or not, downloading a software program can sometimes be scary. Without your knowledge, it might contain viruses that can harm your device. But there are times that you feel you are obliged to, just like when you need to access blocked sites. But no, you can still open restricted sites without using any software. There are actually many effective techniques that you can try, including VPN(Virtual Private Network). However, you need to clearly understand them first as well as their pros and cons.

Using Proxy to Open Blocked sites

The first and most common way is by using a proxy site, which acts as the third party between your computer and restricted site. There are a lot of free and paid web proxies to choose from as you browse the Internet. With a proxy server, your IP address is hidden and no one can see you as you try to open blocked sites. Generally speaking, proxy servers are fast. However, some offices and schools block these proxy sites. But more importantly, traffic is not encrypted so the safety level is not really that high. What is the difference between proxy and VPN? Read here.

Access blocked sites by ip address

Another way to access blocked sites without any software is by using its IP address, instead of its web URL. On your computer, click on Start then CMD and press Enter. On the command prompt, type ‘ping sitename.com and press Enter. There, you will then see the site’s IP address which you can copy and paste on your browser. In some cases, the site is hosted in a VPS or Dedicated Server Environment (DSE), and is using an unverified SSL. You can still proceed but your security will be at high risk.

Use shortening URL tool to open blocked sites

Using a URL shortening tool such as tinyurl.com and bitly.com can also unblock restricted sites. Instead of using the site URL directly, convert it first to another URL, usually a shorter one, and then place it on your browser. But of course, this method is not always effective because your real IP address is still exposed. This is not advisable to use if you are in a country with strict Internet censorship policy.

Using translation service

You can also use a language translation tool such as Google Translate, which also acts like a proxy.

Using VPN to access blocked sites

There are other methods to have access on restricted sites without using software, such as by using mobile browsers as proxies, or by converting your IP into a decimal IP. However, the safest way is by using a VPN. Although some of them may require you to download software, there are others that allow you to use their service without downloading or installing anything. You can actually set up your VPN yourself on your computer at home. This procedure is not very complicated.

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But why use VPN instead any of the ones mentioned above?
The quick answer is security.

Although VPNs work almost exactly like proxy sites, your data via VPN is highly encrypted. This means that you are absolutely safe, even if you are in Wi-Fi hotspot are in strict countries in the Middle East. Different VPNs also have different security protocols to choose from. And yes, there are also free VPNs. But for obvious reasons, paid VPNs are

  • Faster
  • more reliable
  • provide excellent customer service.

11 expats arrested in Kuwait for gambling

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Recently 11 foreigners were arrested by Kuwait police in the Salmiya area in the capital Kuwait City for gambling.

“The officers raided the flat after monitoring it for several days following tips about men going there for illegal activities,” a security source told Kuwaiti daily Al Rai.

“Investigations revealed that seven Asians and four Arabs were running the gambling in the flat. They were all arrested and referred to the competent authorities for legal action,” the source added.

In February last year, security officers arrested a Kuwaiti doctor for reportedly running an illegal casino in the country.

According to reports, 33 other people, including one American citizen and three European nationals, were also arrested in the raid.

The casino, believed to be the largest in the country where gambling is strictly prohibited, charged high fees.

The police raided the makeshift casino after a Kuwaiti man lost 200,000 Dinars (Dh2.60 million) and informed authorities about its existence.

Police closely monitored the area and gathered enough evidence to raid the casino and make arrests.

Police learned that the American man owned a casino in the US and that the Europeans were professionals who operated in international gambling halls.

The reports said that smaller illegal casinos had also been secretly opened in various areas of the country and that a massive raid would be launched.

Gambling is banned in Kuwait, and authorities are concerned that the trend of gambling on the Internet is growing.

Media reports in Kuwait City said a large number of young people from different nationalities are gambling through social networking sites, playing mainly Poker, Black Jack and Roulette.

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Reasons to use VPN in the Middle East

Politics, iPlayer and Porn

Millions of people are spending their evenings in such simple pleasures like reading news and politics websites, watching internet porn, and enjoying  the latest episode of Game of Thrones and others films on iPlayer.

It is hard to believe but these things are not available in the Arab world. Internet censorship, as well as geographical restrictions on online content are terrible in this part of the wold.

But this is not the end on Internet – it is just another day on the internet with VPN solutions.

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VPN or Virtual private networks, widespread only in the business sphere before, are very popular today among home Internet users in the Middle East: UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Pakistan, Iran.

Such networks establish a private, encrypted data connection, and allow users to sidestep local censorship rules while disguising their online identities.

For example, an internet user in Qatar or the UAE could use a VPN to access online pornography, avoiding blocks on sites imposed in many Arab countries. VPNs can also allow access to outlawed political sites, certain social media services and other blocked content.

For example, an internet user in Saudi Arabia could use a VPN service to watch TV shows on the BBC’s iPlayer service, which is only available in the UK and a handful of other countries.

Defeating censorship?

Internet censorship is rife in the Middle East. Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia were ranked as the “top 10 most censored countries” in a 2012 report by the New York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

“Iranian authorities maintain one of the world’s toughest internet censorship regimes, blocking

Legal implications

Yet could using a VPN land you in trouble?

In a market like the UAE, the law prohibits VPNs if they are used to commit or conceal a crime, legal experts say.

“Article 9 in the UAE’s Law No.5/2012 on Combatting Cyber Crimes makes it an offense to use ‘a fraudulent computer network protocol address by using a false address or a third party address’ for the purposes of committing or concealing a crime,” said Dino Wilkinson, partner at the Norton Rose Fulbright legal practice in Abu Dhabi.

Wilkinson said that it is highly unlikely the UAE law would be construed to pursue expatriates using VPNs to access online TV services.

“I am not aware of any particular enforcement actions being taken or contemplated by authorities on this type of benign personal use,” he said.

“I think there would be a bit of uproar among expats if they were stopped from watching Eastenders or the equivalent from their home countries.”

Be aware! Top 10 Cyber Crimes in UAE

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1. Run software on a computer network or an electronic information system or any information technology medium which can cause it to stop functioning or results in crashing, deletion, omission, destruction or alteration of the programme, system, website, data or information, without authorisation.

2. Email SPAM or flooding email with messages .

3. Obtain a secret number, code or password and gain access to information technology without legal right.

4. Use a computer network or information technology system to threaten another person, force them to engage in or prevent them from engaging in a certain act.

5. Establish, manage or run a website for gambling activities, and websites that promote the collection of donations without a license accredited by the competent authority, manage or run a website or use information on a computer network with the intent to publish information, news, cartoon drawings or pictures that may endanger national security.

6. Use a computer network or any information technology system to invade the privacy of another person.

7. Eavesdrop, intercept, record, transfer or disclose conversations or audio or visual material of someone else without consent.

8. Publish photographs of others without consent.

9. Run a website promoting programmes or ideas that would prompt riots, hatred, racism or damage to the national unity.

10. Insult others or accuse them of acts that would lead to punishment or contempt by a third party online.

From Sahrzad’s Blog

Porn in Dubai 2015

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Many people send us letters with a question:

How to access blocked sites in Dubai?

Many websites are blocked in UAE by the most claimed are adult sites.

Porn in Dubai

First of all we need to underline that any kind of porn is blocked in the United Arab Emirates.

Also watching or sending adult content in punishable in this Gulf country.

Recently we discussed adult sites in Saudi Arabia.

There are various methods how you can surf restricted sites, among them you can use:

  • Proxy services
  • Translations services
  • Sites unblockers
  • DNS
  • TOR
  • VPN Service

The most safe and secure way to open blocked sites is VPN – virtual private network. It hides your IP address making you completely anonymous and secure in the Internet.

VPN is easy to setup and simple in use.

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You can setup vpn connection on your device or use our free Android application.

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Adult sites in Saudi Arabia

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Lots of Internet users from Middle East and Saudi Arabia are looking for adult websites that are available in Saudi Arabia.

Is any porn site not blocked in Saudi Arabia?

It is sad to say but all adult content is blocked in Saudi Arabia on country’s level due to religious and moral principles.

Internet restrictions  are very strict in KSA.

That means that you cannot access porn sites with your general Saudi IP address.
On one hand this is very disappointing for many people but on the other hand you can avoid all Internet limits easily!

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Sahrzad offers secure and reliable service that helps to open any blocked site in Saudi Arabia.
Sahrzad is:

  • Safe
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  • 100% anonymous
  • open any blocked website

Learn more about Sahrzad service!

To access any restricted website you need only 3 simple steps:

  1. Get VPN Account
  2. Setup VPN connection on your device – this is very easy and fast
  3. Enjoy your Internet freedom and security!

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You might also like:

The best solutions to access adult sites in the Middle East

Net Neutrality in the EU

Great news for European citizens!
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The new EU rules prevent “blocking and throttling” of Internet traffic, as well as paid prioritization, although net neutrality activists have argued the EU’s approach to paid prioritization has too broad a carveout for specialized services and opportunities to favor some traffic.

“The rules enshrine the principle of net neutrality into EU law: no blocking or throttling of online content, applications and services,” the EU said following the vote by the European Parliament. “All traffic will be treated equally. This means, for example, that there can be no paid prioritization of traffic in the internet access service,” it added.
The FCC’s rules also allow for specialized services, like facilities-based VoIP, health monitoring, etc., which it does not treat as Internet access, but it also reserves the right to disallow specialized services that is providing the functional equivalent of an access service and makes clear it does not want folks trying to evade the rules to create fast lanes for things like video services. The EU rules do not have similar language, which makes some activists concerned they could be used for such video fast lanes.
The EU’s language about specialized services in an FAQ about the decision appears to justify that concern.

“The rules will ensure that the constantly growing quality of the open internet access service will not be hampered by the provision of services such as IPTV or telemedicine which share the same infrastructure. These innovative services may only be offered where and if sufficient capacity for internet access remains available.” EU pointed out that that last part about capacity means that specialized services cannot result in the slowing of other general Internet services.

In a letter in advance of the vote, companies including Etsy, Kickstarter, Netflix, Reddit, and Tumblr, pointed out what they said were major flaws in the proposal, including a carve-out for specialized services they say create Internet fast-lanes and allows zero-rating plans, in which carriers exclude some applications from a customer’s data usage totals.
Also criticizing the EU plan were Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press, and the Future of Music Coalition, the same groups that fought for the Title II-based approach to net neutrality rules the FCC adopted.

“Apparently Silicon Valley interests are disappointed that the European Parliament did not ban the “specialized services” that Europe may need to create a European Digital Single Market to compete with Silicon Valley,” said Scott Cleland, president, Precursor LLC, and chairman of NetCompetiton, which advocates for an open Internet free of government overregulation (NetCompetition is supported by ISPs including members of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and CTIA).
The EU also voted to end roaming charges by 2017–the net neutrality rules take effect now.

Both are part of a broader EU telecom law reform, with plans for better EU-level spectrum coordination.
“[This Week’s] vote is the final result of intense efforts to put an end to roaming charges in the European Union and to safeguard the open internet,” said European Commission VP Andrus Ansip.