x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Police chief says YouTube spreads hatred, but regulator will not block it

The agency that regulates internet access does not plan to ban YouTube despite a call to do so by Dubai's police chief and recent controversy surrounding an Israeli cartoon.

The agency that regulates internet access does not plan to ban YouTube despite a call to do so by Dubai's police chief and recent controversy surrounding an Israeli cartoon. Lt Gen Dhahi Khalfan Tamim said in a speech to a youth group on Sunday that the video-sharing site should be blocked. It was reported that he objected to content that incited dissension and hatred. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said in a statement that no one has asked it to ban the site. It said it does ban selected YouTube content that includes anything prohibited by its recently published internet access management (IAM) policy, including pornography, terrorism-related material and content deemed offensive to religion. The policy also prohibits sites that offer gambling, dating and voice-over-internet-protocol services.

"No content on the internet is blocked unless it breaches the IAM policy," the TRA said. Last month the authority blocked access to an episode of the Israeli cartoon Ahmed and Salim, after learning that it showed the main characters using a bomb to blow up a bus bearing a UAE flag. Buti al Falasi, head of the Dubai Police media department, said Lt Gen Tamim was concerned that YouTube violates personal privacy, as videos can be posted of people who have not given their consent.

"There are very sensitive things: religious matters, personal matters, ethical matters. He needed to encourage the companies in charge of internet that it's their duty to protect people." Bangladesh blocked YouTube on Sunday after footage of a tense meeting between the prime minister and army officials about a mutiny among border guards was posted to the site. @Email:amcqueen@thenational.ae With additional reporting by Agence France-Presse