September 18, 2015
Whether you travel to Oman on a vacation, or you wish to start a business here, you will notice that many websites are blocked for access. Oman has an intensive filtering system that closes down all websites that are considered to be dangerous for the population. More precisely, authorities target websites with pornographic content, concerning gays and lesbians, sites that bring criticism to Islam, about illegal drugs, and the sites that are used to pass through the blocking system. Although there isn’t a particular action that was taken to prevent the access of websites with political content, the regulations of the country do not agree with free expression in the online environment and push people to be self-censored.
The censorship of Internet in Oman is not happening since yesterday, as it is a measure implemented by the authorities long ago. It appears that to preserve moral values and integrity of the population in Oman, the filtering and blocking systems for the Internet in the country are installed since the beginning of technology. Of course, Oman’s authorities are trying to keep people away from pornography, but other websites may end up being blocked in a random manner, even if they do not have any offensive content whatsoever. And getting them unblocked can be a real hustle.
Still, due to the presence of VPNs in Oman, the attempt of blocking the Internet can be unsuccessful. You will see many services online promoting the existence of free VPN connection in Oman, to which you can adhere as well. Then, there is the question, is porn really blocked in the country? Are children kept away from it? Not necessarily, if the Internet connection is facilitated by a VPN. It is not known for sure why the country chooses to spend so much money on keeping those ISPs and regulators up and going, instead of investing the money in something else, when they can be clearly trespassed. It is easy to understand the desire to block obscene websites, but the system is apparently not working properly if other “innocent” sites are caught in the whirlpool or censorship.
Thus, for anyone trying to run a business in Oman, their website, for instance, may one day be blocked by the protective system installed by the authorities. Time is precious, and you won’t like to lose it trying to convince local authorities that your website has nothing offensive at all, just to get it to run again. So, under these circumstances, it is easy to understand that a VPN connection may be the preferred option for so many living and working in Oman. The reality is that anyone looking to find some pornographic content can do it very well without the help of VPNs. The existence of social networks facilitates the appearance of new web pages every day, which may contain obscene content, at such a speed, that local ISPs won’t be able to block them all at once. Still, a VPN can increase the security of your data and make sure that your website will run without an issue.