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Wed 17 Jan 2007 04:00 AM

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Proxy filter blamed for UAE internet disruption

The disruption seemed to spread throughout the Middle East, with reports of decreased download rates and slow web browsing coming in from across the region.

Internet speeds across the UAE dramatically decreased January 16 for the second time in the month, affecting all Internet users.

Etisalat, which dispatched teams from its own Security, Network and Service Operations to deal with the issue, was initially reluctant to state what caused the problem, leading to speculation that a series of recent earthquakes off the coast of Taiwan - responsible for destroying parts of the SEA ME WE 3 and Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 submarine network cables - caused the slowdown.

However, UAE authorities have now admitted that a technical problem with the proxy filter, which allows the government to censor websites it deems inappropriate, is to blame for the disruption.

The problem was resolved after a few hours by incumbent operator Etisalat, in what it claims was a “record time”.

The disruption seemed to spread throughout the Middle East, with reports of decreased download rates and slow web browsing coming in from across the region.

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