Oman internet censorship policies are included in the state’s Internet Service Manual. This document literally controls one’s use of the Web. Essentially, the manual lists all the prohibited activities and content online such as Web-based resources that can be used to dishonor the Sultan and his royal family, threaten the national security, and impair the public’s confidence in the government. Information that go against the laws of the land and false data that can trigger hatred among the people and bring political unrest are also on top of the prohibited materials online.
Oman internet censorship goes beyond the Web. The manual that provides guidance on Internet usage also requires all private businesses to obtain special permit before using encoding devices, there is even a stipulation that restricts online access to people who have not yet reached legal age. When you are in Oman, you may find it hard to get official facts about censorship on the Internet. As a matter of fact, the specific government unit in charge of regulating the use of the Internet remains largely unknown to the public. If you want to access blocked sites, we can help. One thing is for sure, the control on Web usage in the country is part of the central processes of the government, after all, the government is the sole provider of Internet services.
Naturally, because of the strict Oman (Muskat) internet censorship, many citizens are scared of or hesitant to use the Internet provided by Omantel, the only isp in Oman. Many are afraid that government units are monitoring forums and other online communities, and that anyone who goes against the stipulations stated in the manual will be readily arrested. Early this year, a man was imprisoned for 11 days on suspicion that he posted comments indicating corruption in the state owned telecom company. One can see that Net users in the country are under the pressure of all the prohibitions on Internet usage. In fact, most discussions in online forums are made under pseudonyms.
Oman also blocks VoIP as of late 2009! So the use of skype and other voip applications will fail unless you use our services.
Indeed, the blocking of websites aims to protect the users and the state. But if you want to have total online presence without fearing for your life, you should know about getting your own virtual private network and as a result anonymizing all internet activity. Click here for a VPN connection