UAE unblocks access to top Israeli domain ".il"

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has unblocked access to Web sites on the Israeli country code top-level domain “.il"

ONI noticed earlier this month that .il Web sites have been accessible from the UAE, and has since been testing for filtering of tens of .il Web sites from different categories including government, politics, religion, and entertainment. All sites have been found consistently accessible via the country's two ISPs, Etisalat and du.

It is not clear why the UAE authorities have decided to remove the ban on .il Web sites and whether this unblocking will continue.

Like many Arab countries, the UAE has no official diplomatic relations with Israel.

ONI's technical tests run in 2006-2007 and 2008-2009 found that the entire “.il” top-level domain was blocked in the UAE.

In addition to .il Web sites, ONI's most recent research on Internet filtering in the UAE ( ONI UAE Country Profile published August 2009) found that the UAE censors a few political and religious Web sites, some sites belonging to Nazis or historical revisionists, and pervasively filters Web sites that contain pornography, content relating to alcohol and drug use, gay and lesbian issues, online dating, gambling, as well as online privacy and circumvention tools.