April 25, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — The Sudanese Commission for Telecommunication (SCT) announced today that it has filed a formal complaint to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on sites that have been blocked in the Sudan.
The government sponsored Sudanese Media Center (SMC) quoted Mustafa Abdel-Hafiz Technical Director of SCT as saying that the commission wants to find out the "real reasons" behind the blocking of several sites including Google chrome, Google open code, MSN messenger, Oracle "creating account", Source forge.
The ITU’s mission statement is to enable the growth and sustained development of telecommunications and information networks, and to facilitate universal access to the emerging information society and global economy. ITU is part of the United Nations and based in , Switzerland, and its membership includes 191 Member States and more than 700 Sector Members and Associates.
Last month, the US Treasury Department eased sanctions on a number of countries including Cuba, Iran and Sudan to give citizens of those countries access to email, instant messaging, social networks and other Internet-based services.
Certain services from Web giants such as Google’s email program Gmail are already used in countries on US sanctions lists such as Iran.
But Google and other companies have blocked access to other services for fear of violating US laws which ban commerce with black-listed countries such as Cuba, Iran and Sudan.
Sudan has been on the sanctions list since 1997 as an alleged supporter of Islamic militant groups and over the situation in war-torn Darfur.
Separately, the STC official denied that the YouTube site has been blocked intentionally by the authorities saying that the inability of web users in Sudan to access the site was due to technical reasons. He said that heavy traffic led to the difficulty in opening open the video pages and a message appeared by default saying that the site has been blocked.
This week it was reported that Sudanese authorities have reportedly blocked users’ access to the YouTube site over a video posted this week showing electoral staff in East Sudan filling out the ballots and putting inside the boxes.
Also Al-Rakoba website was also blocked for showing an electoral official speaking about breaches she encountered during her work in East Sudan.