Monday, May 28, 2007

Big Brother is Blocking

The other night I made one of my rare visits to YouTube to verify for myself that a particular clip that had been recommended to me was as incomprehensibly vile as my colleague had portended it to be. Unfortunately, I couldn't make a connection but I was hardly nonplussed for such are the vagaries of internet connections in Morocco. Then this morning I received an e-mail from Youssef The Brave at Maghrebism who, with righteous indignation, took it upon himself to enlighten the Blogoma (the community of Moroccan bloggers) that Maroc Telecom had just blocked YouTube and to encourage us to sign an online petition he's established in protest.

Maroc Telecom - the Phone Company That Cares - has already blocked LiveJournal and GoogleEarth, preventing me from perusing my niece's blog as well as playing voyeur on the streets of Tiznit. How am I supposed to watch annoyingly cute little kittens frolic on laptops trying to catch on-screen cursors or Japanese hotties building up a sweat on their exercise bikes? Not that I'm taking it personally. But somebody is...

It would appear that inappropriate videos were circulating on YouTube that cast the King in an unflattering light. And since the state is a major shareholder of The Phone Company That Cares, Maroc Telecom has no compunction about ceding to governmental pressure. Morocco's other internet providers, Wana and Meditel, seem to have retained their backbones and are still offering access to YouTube.

Jeezus ... I thought this was Morocco not Iran. Not China. Not Egypt. Are our blogs next? Allah knows that I have made my fair share of disparaging comments about M6 - his meteoric weight gain not being the least of them. Will there be a flurry of activity as blogger after blogger - fearful of reprisal - pens his or her farewell post as did The Rantings of a Sandmonkey last month in Cairo?

One of Maroc Telecom's syrupy little slogans is "un monde comme vous l'imagine", "the world as you imagine it." Perhaps it would be more fitting to change its motto to "a world which we imagine for you."


Blogger taamarbuuta said...

"a world which we imagine for you."

Cat, you never fail to amuse :)

3:35 p.m.  
Blogger knarf said...

As Cat's older brother, I certainly agree with your assessment of C in R...


4:02 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...


4:10 p.m.  
Anonymous Amanda said...

Agreed. And shit.

9:10 p.m.  
Anonymous S. Weasel said...

Meh. They've been blocking YouTube from work (in the States) for months. I've gotten used to a blogosphere that's mostly blank space.

12:37 a.m.  
Blogger Stig said...

Thanks for the petition link Cat. Funny post too. Keep up the good work.

8:24 a.m.  
Blogger lady macleod said...

good post.

12:51 a.m.  
Anonymous Nienke said...

Well put. Frightening.

8:39 p.m.  

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