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Thus, it is not clear when other ISPs will be permitted to offer services in the UAE, nor whether the state will require them to filter material as well. The state ranked very low on the freedom of the press list compiled by Reporters Sans Frontières in 2004 - at 137 out of 167 countries.

However, domestic media are stringently controlled. Publishers and broadcasters must obtain a license from the Ministry of Information, and must deposit copies of any material broadcast or published in the UAE.

The news media, the sole Internet service provider (ISP), and Internet-based content providers in the UAE all face stringent legal controls on expression and access to information.

The sole ISP, Etisalat, is owned by the state, which makes filtering a substantially easier proposition than if many private ISPs served the state's citizens.

There are thousands of other free and open source programs, including the Firefox web browser, the Libre Office or Apache Open Office office suites and entire Linux-based operating systems such as Ubuntu Networking is becoming cloudier, hybrid and more Internet-centric.

Programs like Audacity are also called open source software, because their source code is available for anyone to study or use.These protective measures, carried out through filtering processes and other forms of enforcement, are geared toward protecting political, moral, and religious values of the UAE and have considerable popular support.According to one survey, more than half of UAE's citizens agree that Internet censorship is an effective measure to protect family members from objectionable content.Of the 8713 URLs that the Open Net Initiative (ONI) tested in UAE, we found 1347 blocked (15.4%).Compared to most other countries in the world, UAE's filtering is extensive.

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