Matt J. Duffy :: Thoughts on Journalism, Culture, and Global Communication

Thoughts On Journalism, Culture, and Global Communication
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Dr. Matt J. Duffy teaches journalism, media ethics and international communication law at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, USA. He enjoys teaching the art of good journalism, a noble profession and powerful tool for social change. Duffy worked as a journalist for several news outlets including the Boston Herald and the Marietta Daily Journal.

Duffy's research focuses on international approaches to media law. Wolters Kluwer will publish the second edition of his"Media Laws in the United Arab Emirates" in 2016. He has published more than a dozen academic articles and writes occasionally for niche publications. Duffy will venture to Pakistan in May 2016 as part of the Fulbright Scholar program from the US State Department.

Since 2012, Duffy has served on the board of the Arab-United States Association for Communication Educators, an organization that aims to improve journalism in the Middle East. He also owns Oxford Editing that he started in 2007.

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Skype will remain blocked in UAE

posted on May 28, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Sorry for my disappointing headline, but I think it reflects reality.

My recent column in Gulf News addressed the blocking of the Skype voice-over-Internet service in the United Arab Emirates. I pointed out that occasionally a news report would indicate that the block may soon be lifted — but there’s little evidence to suggest the government will change its position anytime soon. Here’s a bit from the column:

Still, the blocking of Skype seems to be a widely disdained practice — particularly with the large expatriate community who would like to use the service legally to speak to relatives and friends back home. From time to time, expatriates get excited at the prospect that the government may lift the Skype ban.

This happened last week following comments made by Mohammad Al Ganem, Director-General of TRA, during a one-hour Q&A session on the Twitter platform.

Users could tweet questions to Al Ganem and he responded to many inquiries, including a query about whether Skype would ever be unblocked. Al Ganem responded that Skype would be unblocked as soon as the company applied for a telecom licence in the UAE.

“It is purely a licensing matter,” he said. “I hope they come to TRA for a licence.”

The only problem with this position is that Skype is never going to apply for a licence to operate in the UAE, because Skype doesn’t apply for licences to operate anywhere. That’s why it’s free. Users simply download the software and start making calls.

Most governments don’t interfere with this process — Skype hasn’t had to apply for any licences to operate in the 150 countries where it’s not blocked. Quite simply, Skype will continue to not work in the UAE until the TRA decides to revise its position on the regulation of VoIP services.

My advice: Accept that Skype is blocked and look into technological alternatives.

One comment

  • http://www.blrimages.net/ on 28 April 2016

    Est-on sur de cette information, sachant que les Islamistes risqueraient de bastonner lourdement les quelques personnes de ce type dans la mosquée ou de mettre le feu à ce genre de batiment. D'où vient l'information ?

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