08/03/09 - Abu Dhabi, UAE - The government is beginning to crack down on internet cafes that access illicit material on the web.  (Andrew Henderson/The National) *** Local Caption ***  090308_Internet_Cafe_0064.jpg
The government is planning tighter regulations to ensure internet cafes respect laws banning access to certain websites.

Cafes face tighter regulation



ABU DHABI // Cafes that keep their neighbours awake or allow access to banned websites could one day be a thing of the past. The police, the Food Control Authority, health authorities and tourism businesses have formed a committee to investigate cafes that cause problems in residential neighbourhoods. The group is concerned that some shisha cafes near residential buildings are disturbing their neighbours by staying open until the early hours of the morning, especially on weekends, according to a police statement issued yesterday.

The manager of Abu Dhabi Community Policing Department, Major Mubarak bin Mehairoom, said the impact of these establishments on public health and the environment will also be investigated. The Municipality will look into allocating areas for cafes in non-residential areas, and recommend places where they could move. The police statement said that smoking in all its forms seemed to have increased, while anti-smoking campaigns apparently had accomplished little.

The committee is also planning tighter regulations and more frequent inspections to ensure internet cafes respect laws banning access to certain websites. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority stipulates that Etisalat and du both restrict websites that run contrary to the social values of the UAE. However, some internet cafes are suspected of finding ways to access the blocked sites by using virtual private networks from other countries.

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