Saudi Arabia blocks access to Blogger, Flickr, LiveJournal

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Monday, October 10, 2005

Screenshot of a blocked website

The government of Saudi Arabia blocked access to Google's Web blogging service Blogger, Yahoo!'s photo sharing website Flickr, and the diary service LiveJournal as well as some other websites through their nationally run Internet Services Unit (ISU) last Tuesday. As a result, English-speaking Saudis were prevented from publishing blogs, reading journals, or viewing pictures on Flickr.

The Saudi Arabian government uses a filtering service provided by the United States-owned company Secure Computing. Similar blocking services have been implemented in other countries, such as The People's Republic of China.

In the past, the ISU had, on and off, blocked access to BlogSpot.com's free hosting service. However, according to activist organization Reporters Without Borders, "blog services [applications] had not until now been affected by the ISU's filters. The complete blocking of blogger.com, which is one of the biggest blog tools on the market, is extremely worrying. Only China had so far used such an extreme measure to censor the Internet."

On Thursday, access to Blogger.com was restored, but Flickr and LiveJournal remained inaccessible. The ISU did not release any public statement about the blocking or restoration of service to any specific website.

Sources

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