The Council of Ministers Resolution do not allow users of their internet structure to access sites providing certain content. Saudi Arabia has many different internet service providers (Anet, ArabNet, AwalNet, Dallah Media Production, Gulfnet KSA, Naseej, Nesma, PrimeNet, Sahara Network, Saudi On Line, Shabakah Net, Saudi Business Machine Ltd), and forwards all traffic through system of proxy servers, or "go betweens". These proxy servers are equipped to allow or deny access to sites based on specific criteria.

 

If a site is listed in Saudi Arabia's blacklist of internet sites, the user is simply directed to a general site that informs the user that his or her request was denied. The government includes their internet users in the cleaning up off their access database. Meaning, users can request that a particular site or URL be blocked or unblocked. Using the Qur'an as the basis for site inclusion or rejection, any content that does not conform to the belief structure presented in the Qur'an is blocked.

 

In terms of safety and morality, the censorship structure of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is completely sound. Many would even go as far as to say that the blocking of sites is beneficial to all parts of Saudi Arabian life, and that any infiltration of questionable content could lead to a damage of its society and the accepted way of life there. Any such sites can be submitted by users to be banned or allowed, providing a valid reason is included with the request.

 

That being said, there will always be individuals or groups of individuals who want completely unrestricted internet access. This can easily be accomplished with the help of whats called a VPN, or "Virtual Private Network". All sites requested through the Saudi network appear as requests from a different country than the one it is truly requested from. For example, a user is Singapore using a VPN requests a web page from the USA. The USA web server sends the data first to the VPN, and then to the real internet user. This allows access to any website, anywhere in the world, no matter where you are from. Since the Virtual Private Network provides the pages, and is not on the ban list, the VPN can allow the user to view a banned page.

The government of Saudi Arabia is in close connection with all citizens of their country. Therefore, religiously speaking, the Internet should not be allowed to become an unregulated medium. A free for all type information network can be dangerous to all involved, so a decision was made to not allow certain information to be viewed. The only disadvantage this entails is technical problems. What if a user needed to access a site that was blocked automatically by the filters, yet necessary to their business survival. Access to it could make or break a business deal. Using this logic, a Virtual Private Network is an indispensable and crucial part of business security. Above all else, a business demands certain freedoms.

 

If the Virtual Private Network is not used as an illegal or immoral tool, it can truly be a godsend to have access to. Virtual Private Networks are not for free, however, and are only available to those who can purchase them. So, it may be a good idea to learn how to use such networks. Click here for a VPN connection