2009



Internet Filtering in the


Middle East
and North Africa
Internet in the Middle East and North            accessib...
2009


    Liberalization of telecommunications           Internet and Media Regulations: The
markets has already taken pl...
2009


facilitate blocking of Web sites by sending       and regulations, technical filtering,
user-submitted URLs of ques...
2009


the Internet content that “incites hatred”           or religious rituals, opposing the Islamic
or “harms national ...
2009


TeleYemen (aka Y.Net) prohibits “sending           information, together with any suspicious
any message which is o...
2009


and phone numbers, before they can use                   To one degree or another, the Gulf
the Internet. Once the ...
2009


as well as more Web sites affiliated with             Department, which announced it would
the Muslim Brotherhood K...
2009


filtering, laws and regulations, surveillance        NOTES
and monitoring, physical restrictions, and           


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2009





























































































       
















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Internet Filtering in the Middle East and North Africa

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OpenNet Initiative: Internet Filtering in the Middle East and North Africa

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Transcript of "Internet Filtering in the Middle East and North Africa"

  1. 1. 2009 Internet Filtering in the Middle East and North Africa Internet in the Middle East and North accessible to Internet users as part of Africa Qatar’s Supreme Council for Information Countries in the Middle East and North and Communication Technology’s Africa continue to invest in information initiative to develop more Web sites with and communications infrastructure and Arabic content.3 media projects as part of their strategies The number of Internet users is likely to develop the local economies and create to continue to rise, especially with the employment. introduction of technologies that Among the major examples are overcome poor ICT infrastructure that Jordan’s plans to establish a free IT zone hinders Internet access in the region. in Amman, which will give sales and WiMAX, for example, was commercially income tax breaks to the software available by end of March 2009 in Algeria, companies and business development Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and firms based in the zone. The zone is part Tunisia, while operators in other parts of of a strategy designed to increase the the region have started testing the number of Internet users from 26 percent service.4 Additionally, broadband markets to 50 percent. It aims to increase are growing fast in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco employment in the sector and to boost the and Tunisia, and commercial 3G mobile sector’s revenues from $2.2 billion in services have been launched in Egypt, 2009 to $3 billion by end of 2011.1 Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Syria, and In addition to existing regional hubs Tunisia.5 Dubai Media City and Dubai Internet City, Demographic factors are also expected the United Arab Emirates launched a new to contribute to the growth of Internet content creation zone to support media population. The Arab Media Outlook content creators in the Middle East and 2008–2012 says that, “Digital media will North Africa. The new Abu Dhabi-based thrive in the Arab market because the zone aims to employ Arab media market has a large, technologically professionals in film, broadcast, digital accomplished demographic group—its and publishing. CNN, BBC, the Financial youth—who are comfortable with it and will Times, Thomson Reuters Foundation, and customize it to their own requirements.” Thomson Foundation are among the The report also revealed that, “over 50% partners of the zone.2 of the population in Yemen, Oman, Saudi At the same time, some countries have Arabia, Jordan, Morocco and Egypt are initiated efforts to develop Arabic Web estimated to be currently less than 25 content. In this regard, Microsoft is years old, while in the rest of the countries working on translation technology that the under-25, ‘net generation’ makes up would make the Arabic language more around 35% to 47% of total population.”6 1
  2. 2. 2009 Liberalization of telecommunications Internet and Media Regulations: The markets has already taken place in Debate several Arab countries. Most incumbent The last few years have witnessed an telecom companies in North Africa are increase in the debate over media and already in private hands, with exception of Internet censorship in the region. Rifts Algerie Telecom, the privatization of which between the censors and local and has been postponed due to the global regional advocates of freedom of speech economic crisis.7 However, experts say have intensified, and more voices telecom liberalization in the Middle East continue to express concern about media and North Africa still lags behind the rest regulations in the region. of the world in terms cost and efficiency, a Interestingly, while advocates in the matter which does not encourage direct region criticize the regimes for the foreign investment.8 repressive regulations, which limit freedom of speech online, some The Media Environment in the Middle governments claim they arrest bloggers East and North Africa and online activists because they abuse The Middle East and North Africa is one of what the regimes call “media freedom.” In the most heavily censored regions in the Egypt for example, the authorities arrested world. Human rights watchdogs and free a blogger in May 2009 under the speech advocacy groups continue to accusation of "Exploitation of the criticize the media restrictions and democratic climate prevailing in the repressive legal regimes, and over the country to overthrow the regime." The past few years, a great number of bloggers Cairo-based Arab Network for Human and cyber-dissidents have been jailed. Rights Information deplored the charges In April 2009, The International and described them as a black comedy.11 Federation of Journalists called for a Another example of such a rift is from the radical overhaul of media laws in the Gulf countries, where the head of the Middle East, stating that the laws in most Doha Centre for Media Freedom criticized of the region’s countries still permit the Dubai Police for allegedly asking Google to jailing of journalists for undermining the censor YouTube. The head of the center reputation of the state, the president, the was later criticized by Qatar officials as monarch or the religion. Such laws have well as some journalists and was accused often been used to suppress reporting of of endorsing pornography,12 which is a corruption or scrutiny of government sensitive topic in many Middle East and actions.9 This media environment created North African societies. by authorities has been hostile to bloggers While it is common for Internet groups and online activism, resulting in a number and online activists in the region to of arrests across the region. In a list organize online campaigns to condemn created by the Committee to Protect online censorship and arrests of bloggers Journalists of the ten worst countries to be and online writers, other online campaigns a blogger, four such countries (Egypt, which call for and support social Syria, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia) were censorship–mostly online pornography– from the region.10 have emerged in the past few years. For instance, an Arabic Web site called Ehjeb (Arabic for the verb "to block") is becoming increasingly popular, particularly among users of Web forums. The site offers to 2
  3. 3. 2009 facilitate blocking of Web sites by sending and regulations, technical filtering, user-submitted URLs of questionable physical restrictions, surveillance and content to the censors in some of the monitoring, and harassments and arrests. region’s countries. Also, some Internet Among the laws and regulations used to users in North African countries where control access in the region are the press there is no social filtering have organized and publication laws, penal codes, online campaigns to demand filtering of emergency laws, anti-terrorism laws, sexually explicit content.13 Internet-specific laws, ISPs Terms & Pro-censorship advocates and anti- Conditions, and telecommunications censorship activists have also used the decrees. court system in their attempts to implement or remove censorship. For Press and Publication Laws, Penal example, a judge in Egypt filed a lawsuit Codes, Emergency Laws, and Anti- requesting the banning of 51 Web sites terrorism Bills considered offensive. The court rejected Many countries in the region use the lawsuit in December 2007 and restrictive press laws to regulate online emphasized support for freedom of publishing and traditional journalism. For expression as long as the Web sites do not example, censorship of online media and harm local beliefs or public order. In May print journalism in Bahrain is exerted 2009 however, a Cairo court ruled in favor using the 2002 Press Law.14 Kuwait’s of an Egyptian lawyer and ordered the 2006 Press Law allows imprisonment of Egyptian government to ban access to journalists for making references to Islam pornographic Web sites because they are that are deemed insulting,15 or for articles deemed offensive to the values of religion seen as “against national interests.”16 and society. Oman’s 1984 Press and Publication Law In Tunisia however, a blogger authorizes the government to censor challenged the Web filtering regime in the publications deemed politically, culturally, country by filing a legal suit against the or sexually offensive.17 Syria’s 2001 Press Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI) for Law sets out sweeping controls over censoring the social networking site publications printed in Syria.18 And Facebook after it was briefly blocked in journalists in Tunisia have been August 2008. The court dismissed the prosecuted by Tunisia’s press code which case in November 2008 without providing bans offending the president, disturbing any explanation. These examples and order, and publishing what the cases illustrate how the fight over access government perceives as false news.19 control is taking different shapes and Yemen’s 1990 Press and Publications Law forms, and also indicate that different subjects publications and broadcast players will continue the debate and media to broad prohibitions and harsh challenge each other. penalties.20 The press law in Morocco has been used to suppress outspoken online Access Control in the Middle East writers.21 and North Africa In addition to press codes, some Access control in the Middle East and countries often use penal codes to North Africa is multilayered; governments suppress journalists and online writers. and authorities use different measures to Yemen’s Ministry of Information declared regulate Internet access and online in April 2008 that the penal code will be activities. These measures include laws used to prosecute writers who publish on 3
  4. 4. 2009 the Internet content that “incites hatred” or religious rituals, opposing the Islamic or “harms national interests.”22 Syria’s religion, transcending family principles penal code criminalizes spreading news and values, setting up a Web site for abroad.23 Though the Bahraini groups promoting programs in breach of government introduced in May 2008 public decency and order, and setting up a amendments to the 2002 Press Law that Web site or publishing information for a eliminate prison sentences for journalists terrorist group under fake names with and prior censorship on publications, intent to facilitate contacts with their journalists can still be charged and jailed leadership, or to promote their ideologies using the penal code and anti-terrorism and finance their activities, or to publish law.24 information on how to make explosives or In addition to the use of penal and any other substances to be used in press codes, two countries–Egypt and terrorist attacks.28 Syria–both of which have been under In January 2008, Saudi Arabia emergency law for some time, have taken implemented 16 articles of new law on the advantage of their status to punish use of technology. The law includes individuals deemed threatening. Egypt’s penalties of ten years in prison and a fine emergency law, in force since the for Web site operators who advocate or declaration of the state of emergency in support terrorism; three years and fine for 1981, grants the administrative authority financial fraud or invasion of privacy; and powers to search, arrest and detain five years and a fine for those guilty of individuals without the supervision of distributing pornography or other judicial bodies. Rights groups say that the materials that violate public law, religious uninterrupted application of the values and social standards of the emergency law since 1981 has led to the kingdom. Accomplices of the guilty parties emergence of a parallel legal system and even those who are proven to have unchecked by ordinary judicial bodies.25 only intended to engage in unlawful IT acts Similarly, Syria uses the ongoing state of can receive up to half of maximum emergency (which began in 1963) to punishments.29 arrest media workers and journalists and political activists risk arrest at any time.26 Terms and Conditions of ISPs Morocco uses its anti-terrorism bill, Terms and conditions imposed by ISPs are passed following suicide bombings in also used to control access in some Casablanca in 2003, to punish journalists. countries. In Oman for example, Internet The bill grants the government sweeping use is regulated by the ISP Omantel’s legal power to arrest journalists for Terms & Conditions, which mandate that publishing content deemed to “disrupt users “not carry out any unlawful activities public order by intimidation, force, which contradict the social, cultural, violence, fear or terror.”27 political, religious or economical values of the Sultanate of Oman or could cause Internet-Specific Laws harm to any third party” as any abuse and Few countries in the region have misuse of the Internet Services will “result introduced Internet-specific laws to in the termination of the subscription regulate Internet activities; among them and/or in the proceedings of Criminal or are the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Civil lawsuits against the Customer.”30 Arabia. The UAE’s 2007 federal cyber law Another example is Yemen where the criminalizes hacking, abusing holy shrines terms and conditions set by the ISP 4
  5. 5. 2009 TeleYemen (aka Y.Net) prohibits “sending information, together with any suspicious any message which is offensive on moral, activities to the police.36 religious, communal, or political grounds.” Similarly, Jordan began in March 2008 TeleYemen reserves the right to control increasing restrictions on the country’s access to data stored in its system “in any Internet cafés. Cameras were installed in manner deemed appropriate by Internet cafes to monitor users, and TeleYemen.” Section 6.3.3 cautions Internet café owners were required to subscribers that TeleYemen will report register the IP number of the café, the “any use or attempted use of the Y.Net users’ personal data, the time of use and service which contravenes any applicable the data of Web sites explored.37 Law of the Republic of Yemen.”31 Additionally, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior in April 2009 ordered Internet Telecommunications Laws cafés to install hidden cameras and Telecommunications laws are used to provide a record of names and identities control what ISPs can and cannot host. In of their customers.38 In Kuwait, Internet Algeria, for example, article 14 of a 1998 café owners also were required to telecommunications decree makes ISPs maintain a record of customers’ names responsible for the sites they host, and and IDs, which they must submit to the requires them to take “all necessary steps Ministry of Communications (MOC) upon to ensure constant surveillance” of request.39 content to prevent access to “material Some Internet café operators in contrary to public order and morality.32 Lebanon admit that they use surveillance Bahrain’s Telecommunications Law of computer software that enables them to 2002 contains penalties for illicit use of monitor the desktops and browsing habits the network, including the transmission of of their clients under the pretext of messages that are offensive to public protecting the security of their computer policy or morals.33 And in Tunisia, the networks or to stop their clients from 1998 post and telecommunications law accessing pornography.40 In March 2008, enables the authorities to intercept and the Syrian authorities ordered Internet check the content of email messages.34 café users to provide their names and Electronic surveillance such as filtering of identification cards and the times they use email messages of government opponents the Internet café to Internet café owners has been reported in Tunisia.35 who will subsequently present them to the authorities.41 Surveillance and Monitoring In October 2007, police in Yemen Measures to monitor Internet activities, ordered some Internet cafés to close at particularly in Internet cafés, have been midnight and demanded that users show introduced in many Arab countries. In their identification cards to the café Algeria, security forces started raiding operator.42 Some Internet café owners use Internet cafés and checking browsing surveillance software to monitor the online history of Internet users after terrorist activities of their customers and refuse attacks hit the country in April 2007. In access to clients who access April 2008, the security forces increased pornography.43 their monitoring and surveillance efforts of In August 2008, the Egyptian Internet cafés and Internet cafés were authorities imposed new monitoring required to collect names and ID numbers measures by demanding that Internet café of their customers and report this clients must provide their names, email 5
  6. 6. 2009 and phone numbers, before they can use To one degree or another, the Gulf the Internet. Once the data is provided, countries, as well as Sudan, Tunisia, Gaza, clients will receive a text message on their and Yemen, censor pornography, nudity, cell phones and a pin number that they gay and lesbian content, escort and dating can use to access the Internet.44 services, and sites displaying provocative In addition to the above measures, attire. Also censored by most of these some countries impose physical countries are Web sites which present restrictions on Internet cafés as part of the critical reviews of Islam and/or attempt to monitoring efforts. For example, Yemen45 convert Muslims to other religions. Some and Oman46 require that computer of these countries also filter Web sites screens in Internet cafés must be visible related to alcohol, gambling, and drugs. to the floor supervisor. No closed rooms or Generally, the countries that implement curtains that might obstruct view of the political or social filtering also target to monitors are allowed. various degrees proxies and circumvention tools to prevent users from Technical Filtering in the Middle East bypassing filters. Some of these countries and North Africa also block online translation services and ONI conducted tests for technical Internet privacy tools apparently because they also filtering in all of the countries in the can be used to access blocked content. Middle East and North Africa between 2008 and 2009. Test results prove that Regional Trends in Access Control the governments and Internet service Internet censorship in the Middle East and providers (ISPs) censor content deemed North Africa is on the rise, and the scope politically sensitive; critical of and depth of filtering are increasing. governments, leaders or ruling families; Previous ONI tests revealed that political morally offensive; or in violation of public filtering was limited in some countries, but ethics and order. 2008-2009 results indicate that political Testing also revealed that political censorship is targeting more content and filtering continues to be the common is becoming more consistent. For denominator across the region. Many example, previous tests found that Yemen states in the Middle East and North Africa temporarily blocked political Web sites in prevent their citizens from accessing the run-up to the 2006 presidential political content or have blocked such elections, and Bahrain did the same content in the past. For example, Bahrain, ahead of parliamentary elections. Qatar, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, However, 2008-2009 testing revealed Syria, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Libya, and that filtering in these two countries has Tunisia have censored Web sites been consistently extended to include containing content critical of the several Web sites run by opposition governments and leaders, Web sites groups or news Web sites and forums which claim human rights violations, which espouse oppositional political and/or Web sites of opposition groups. views. Mauritania has briefly blocked the news In the meantime, countries that have Web site Taqadoumy, and Egypt has at been filtering political content continue to some point blocked the Web site of the add more Web sites to their political Islamic opposition group Muslim blacklists. For example, filtering in Syria Brotherhood, as well as the Web site of was expanded to include popular sites the Labor Party’s newspaper. such as YouTube, Facebook, and Amazon, 6
  7. 7. 2009 as well as more Web sites affiliated with Department, which announced it would the Muslim Brotherhood Kurdish exercise immediate supervision and opposition groups. Another example is censorship. Tunisia, which added more political and Another example is Saudi Arabia, oppositional content as well as other which announced in May 2009 plans to apolitical sites such as the OpenNet enact legislation for newspapers and Initiative and Global Voices Online. Internet Web sites that will require Saudi- Social filtering is also increasing and is based Web sites to get official licenses catching up with the continuously growing from a special agency under the purview social Web. Most of the Arab countries of the Ministry of Information. Bahrain were found to have started to block already has a similar system that requires Arabic-language explicit content that was local Web sites to register with the previously accessible. Interestingly, Ministry of Information. filtering of Arabic-language explicit Web Among the new trends in controlling content in the Middle East and North access is the increase in incidents of Africa is usually not as fast as that of other hacking of opposition and dissident Web languages. ONI’s investigation revealed sites and blogs. Such incidents have been that the US-based commercial filtering reported in Tunisia and Yemen. On the software used by most of the ISPs in the other hand, sectarian cyber war among region does not pick up Arabic content as different religious groups in the region, comprehensively as content in English. namely Shiite and Sunni groups, has Increases in filtering are the norm in occurred in the past few years. The cyber the Middle East and North Africa, and attacks managed to deface the Web sites unblocking is the exception. Of the few of significant Shiite and Sunni examples of unblocking of Web sites is organizations and individuals and in some Syria’s restoration of access to Wikipedia cases the attackers managed to remove Arabic, Morocco’s lifting of a ban on a few the content of some of these sites. pro-Western Sahara independence Web Additionally, Israeli, Palestinian and sites, and Libya’s allowing access to some Lebanese Web sites run by Hizbullah have previously banned political sites. Sudan’s been targets of attacks and hacking, filtering of gay and lesbian, dating, especially during wars and conflicts. provocative attire and health-related sites was also more limited compared to Conclusion previous test results. Governments in the Middle East and North Another regional trend is that more Africa continue to invest in media and IT Arab countries are introducing regulations projects, and at the same time are to make Web publishing subject to press continuing to invest in censorship and publication laws and requiring local technologies to prevent their citizens from Web sites to register with the authorities accessing a wide range of objectionable before they can go live. In Jordan, for content. Also, while Western companies example, the country’s Legislation Bureau build ICT infrastructure necessary for in the Prime Minister’s Office issued in development in the region, other Western September 2007 a decision that Web companies provide the censors with sites and electronic press must comply technologies and data used to filter the with the provisions of the publications and Internet. publishing law and fall under the oversight The censors in the region attempt to of the Publications and Publishing control political content using technical 7
  8. 8. 2009 filtering, laws and regulations, surveillance NOTES and monitoring, physical restrictions, and 




























































 extra-legal harassment and arrests. Filtering of content deemed offensive for 1 Mohammad Ghazal, “Jordan, UAE firms in religious, moral, and cultural reasons is talks over free IT zone,” The National, May pervasive in many countries and is 16, 2009, growing. http://www.jordantimes.com/?news=1674 2. Though many governments 2 Keach Hagey, “Capital launches media zone acknowledge social filtering, most to nurture young Arab talent,” The National, continue to disguise their political filtering October 13, 2008, practices by attempting to confuse users http://www.thenational.ae/article/2008101 with different error messages. 2/BUSINESS/13341341/1119/NEWS. The absence of technical filtering in 3 Chris V. Panganiban, “Technology to promote some countries in the region by no means Arabic online,” The Peninsula, April 19, indicates free online environments in 2009, those countries; surveillance and http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display monitoring practices and extra-legal _news.asp?section=local_news&month=apr harassment from security agencies create il2009&file=local_news2009041913642.x ml. a climate of fear used to silence online 4 “Has the age of fixed wireless broadband dissidents. services arrived in the Arab World? By end Many ISPs block popular politically of March 2009, six Arab countries had neutral online services such as online eleven commercially launched,” Arab translation services and privacy tools Advisors Group, April 16, 2009, fearing that they can be used to bypass http://www.arabadvisors.com/Pressers/pre the filtering regimes. The censors also sser-160409.htm. 5 “2008 Africa - Telecoms, Mobile and overblock Web sites and services such as social networking Web sites and photo Broadband in Northern Region,” ChinaCCM, and video sharing Web sites because of December 2008, the potential for content considered http://www.chinaccm.com/4S/4S16/4S16 07/news/20081205/111435.asp. objectionable. 6 PricewaterhouseCoopers, “Arab media More users in the Middle East and outlook 2008-2012,” North Africa are using the Internet for http://www.pwc.com/extweb/pwcpublicatio political campaigning and social activism; ns.nsf/docid/14D97CB491E2A59B852573 however, states continue to introduce 34000B8AAB. more restrictive legal, technical and 7 “2008 Africa - Telecoms, Mobile and monitoring measures, amid growing local Broadband in Northern Region,” ChinaCCM, and regional calls to ease restrictions and December 2008, remove barriers to the free flow of http://www.chinaccm.com/4S/4S16/4S16 information. 07/news/20081205/111435.asp. 8 Dana Halawi, “MENA telecoms need liberalization – Hasbani,” The Daily Star, Author: Helmi Noman April 17, 2009, http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edit ion_id=1&categ_id=3&article_id=101067#. 9 International Federation of Journalists, “IFJ Demands Overhaul of Repressive Media Laws in the Middle East,” April 29, 2009, http://www.ifj.org/en/articles/ifj-demands- 8
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 overhaul-of-repressive-media-laws-in-the- http://cpj.org/reports/2008/09/tunisia- middle-east. oppression.php. 10 Committee to Protect Journalists, “10 Worst 20 Yemen News Agency (Saba) Press and Countries to be a Blogger,” April 30, 2009 Publications Law, http://cpj.org/reports/2009/04/10-worst- http://www.sabanews.net/en/news44000. countries-to-be-a-blogger.php. htm. 11 “Egypt: new comic crimes written by the 21 “Appeal court overturns blogger’s state security - Blogger in custody, on conviction,” September 18, 2008, Reporters charges of exploitation of the democratic Without Borders, climate,” The Arabic Network for Human http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article= Rights Information, May 14, 2009, 28603. http://anhri.net/en/reports/2009/pr0514- 22 “Lawzi: Ma Yonshar fi Sahafat Al Internet 2.shtml. Lan Yakon Ba'eedan A'n Al Mosa'ala bimojib 12 “A press row in Qatar -The limits to Qanoon Al Oqobat” [Online journalism is liberalization,” The Economist, May 14, subject to the penal code: Lawzi, Yemeni 2009, Minister of Information], Saba, February 3, http://www.economist.com/world/mideast- 2008, africa/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13649580 http://www.yemenna.com/vb/showthread.p . hp?t=9502. 13 “Users’ Initiative to Block Web Sites,” 23 Freedom House, “Map of Press Freedom OpenNet Initiative Blog, October 24, 2008, 2008,” http://opennet.net/blog/2008/10/users- http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cf initiatives-block-web-sites. m?page=251&year=2008. 14 Bahrain Center for Human Rights, “Website 24 “Despite advances, journalists still face accused of violating press code, BCHR possible jail terms under prevailing laws, concerned that move is aimed at silencing warns IFJ,” International Federation of critical voices,” September 2008 Journalists, June 12, 2008, http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/244 http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/9 6. 4435/. 15 “Country Profile: Kuwait,” BBC News, March 25 Sarah Carr, “Journalists Challenge Egypt’s 11, 2009, Exceptional Laws at Seminar,” Daily News http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/co Egypt, August 1, 2008, untry_profiles/791053.stm. http://dailystaregypt.com/article.aspx?Articl 16 Reporters without Borders, “Kuwait— eID=15464. Annual Report 2007”, 26 Reporters Without Borders, “Syria - Annual http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article= Report 2007,” http://rsf.org/en-rapport163- 20767. id_rubrique659-Syria.html. 17 United Nations Development Programme, 27 “Background: The State of Human Rights in “Program on Governance in the Arab Region Morocco,” Human Rights Watch, November (UNDP-POGAR): Oman,” 2005, http://www.pogar.org/countries/civil.asp?ci http://hrw.org/reports/2005/morocco1105 d=13. /4.htm. 18 Freedom House, “Map of Press Freedom 28 “UAE cyber crimes law,” Gulf News, 2008,” November 2, 2007, http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cf http://archive.gulfnews.com/uae/uaessenti m?page=251&year=2008. als/more_stories/10018507.html. 19 Committee to Protect Journalists, “Tunisia 29 David Westley, “Saudi Tightens Grip on Report: The Smiling Oppressor,” September Internet Use,” Arabian Business, January 23, 2008, 26, 2008, 9
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 http://www.arabianbusiness.com/509226- caf%C3%A9s-saudi-must-install-hidden- saudi-tightens-grip-on-internet-useoni. came. 30 Omantel, “Omantel Terms & Conditions,” 39 U.S. Department of State, “Country Reports http://www.omantel.net.om/policy/terms.as on Human Rights Practices—2007,” p. released by the Bureau of Democracy, 31 Y.Net, “Terms and conditions for Y.Net Human Rights, and Labor, March 11, 2008, Service,” http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/ http://www.y.net.ye/support/rules.htm. 100599.htm. 32 Reporters Without Borders, “Internet Under 40 “Baramij Malomatiya tadbut elaqat al- Surveillance 2004 - Algeria,” Jumhur bemaqahi al-Internet lima’ aljins http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article= waltajasos wasirqat albareed aleliqtoroni” 10730. [Information software to control the 33 Telecommunication Regulatory Authority relationship between the public and Internet (TRA) - Kingdom of Bahrain, “Legislative cafés and to prevent access to sex, spying, decree no. 48 of 2002 Promulgating the and stealing emails], Dar al-Hayat, June 24, Telecommunications Law,” 2007, http://www.tra.org.bh/en/home.asp?dfltlng http://www.daralhayat.com/science_tech/0 =1. 6-2007/Item-20070623-59a6944a-c0a8- 34 “A textbook case in press censorship for the 10ed-0082-a494ca530035/story.html. past 20 years,” Reporters Without Borders, 41 Khaled Yacoub Oweis, “Syria expands ‘iron November 5, 2007, censorship’ over Internet,” Reuters, March http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article= 13, 2008, 24264. http://uk.reuters.com/article/internetNews/ 35 “Repression continues as Ben Ali marks idUKL138353620080313?sp=true. 21st anniversary as president,” Reporters 42 “Internet cafes closed after midnight,” Without Borders, November 7, 2008, Mareb Press, February 20, 2008, http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article= http://marebpress.net/news_details.php?si 29208. d=10305. 36 Fathiya Borowinah, “al-Jazaer: Ajhizat alamn 43 Moneer Al-Omari , “Search for Pornographic tolin al-harb ala magahi alinternet liihbat Material on Rise; Children are most masharee’ khalaya irhabiya naemah” Vulnerable,” Yemen Post, January 12, 2009, [Algeria: security services declared war on http://www.yemenpost.net/63/Reports/20 Internet cafes to thwart the projects of 084.htm. terrorist sleeper cells], Al-Riyadh, May 1, 44 “Egypt demanding data from cyber cafés 2007, users: NGO,” AFP, August 9, 2008, http://www.alriyadh.com/2007/05/01/arti http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hN_tk cle246175.html. tRSmeojLOOn65lVULB4lj8A. 37 “Jordan: New Restrictions on Internet Cafes 45 Moneer Al-Omari , “Search for Pornographic and Violating Privacy of Users,” The Arabic Material on Rise; Children are most Network for Human Rights Information, Vulnerable,” Yemen Post, January 12, 2009, March 11, 2008, http://www.yemenpost.net/63/Reports/20 http://anhri.net/en/reports/2008/pr0311.s 084.htm. html. 46 Oman Telecommunications Company, 38 Helmi Noman, “Restriction on Internet use “Procedures for Internet Cyber Café Pre- in the Middle East on the rise: Internet cafés Approval,” in Saudi must install hidden cameras,” http://www.omantel.net.om/services/busin OpenNet Initiative Blog, April 16, 2009, ess/internet/preapprovaleng.pdf. http://opennet.net/blog/2009/04/restrictio n-internet-use-middle-east-rise-internet- 10

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