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Nobody's 100% sure why, but Skype users in the United Arab Emirates are being blocked from the Skype.com site, which prevents them from buying minutes for use with SkypeOut — meaning they can't take advantage of those deep discounted international calling rates. Also, no one is quite sure where the blockage originates, although the guess is somewhere within Etisalat, the only ISP in the UAE. Since Etisalat has a monopoly on telephony there, the motive could be economic, or it could be one of political control — because Skype encrypts conversations, it's much more difficult for say, a curious government agency to listen in.

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