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New Report: Internet filtering in the Middle East and North Africa

03 September, 2009
By Allison Orr

The OpenNet Initiative (ONI) has released new regional overview and country profiles of the Middle East and North Africa for 2008-2009.  The new survey examines 18 countries in one of the most heavily censored regions of the world.  Human Rights groups continue to criticize the restrictions on the Internet and the repressive tactics towards some cyber-dissidents.  Unsurprisingly, the research found that 14 of the 18 countries filter Internet content.

"Internet censorship in the region is increasing in both scope and depth, and filtering of political content continues to be the common denominator among filtering regimes there,” said Helmi Noman, the OpenNet Initiative’s Middle East and North Africa lead researcher. “Governments also continue to disguise their political filtering, while acknowledging blocking of social content, and censors are catching up with increasing amounts of online content, in part by using filtering software developed by companies in the U.S.”

In the next few months, ONI will be releasing similar research on Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Sub-Saharan Africa, Australia and the US/Canada, culminating in a new book, Access Controlled: The Shaping of Power, Rights and Rule in Cyberspace.

Read the full report: Internet Filtering in the Middle East and North Africa

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