Online Freedom in the Balance

Internet Policy and Freedom of Expression Examined through Workshops in the Middle East and North Africa

Against a backdrop of tightening government restrictions on freedom of expression across the Middle East and North Africa, Internews recently held a series of four intensive workshops on Internet policy and digital safety. The two-day workshops served some 100 journalists, bloggers, netizens and members of civil society groups in Egypt, Palestine, Jordan and Tunisia.

“In the two years since the uprisings in Tunisia and elsewhere, governments have begun to crack down on free expression,” said Jillian York, the lead trainer for the workshops. York, who serves as Director for International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, continued, “These trainings provided journalists and other actors with a toolkit for addressing these issues.”

The workshops supported Internews’ overall goal of ensuring access to information for everyone. Laura Mottaz, Project Manager for Internews’ Global Internet Policy Project (GIPP), noted, "Many countries are at a precipice right now, in that they are just beginning to establish their first Internet policy regimes. This is a rare opportunity to work proactively to make sure that these new policies protect online freedom of expression and privacy around the world." Read more

Related Story

SpeakSafe: Toolkit for Safer Online and Mobile Practices in Media - now in Spanish and Arabic

Internews’ online guide, SpeakSafe: Media Workers’ Toolkit for Safer Online and Mobile Practices, which provides journalists, citizen reporters, bloggers and media workers with a series of simple yet effective practices to maintain control over their information and communications, is now available as a PDF download in Spanish and Arabic as well as EnglishRead more »

In the News

  • “Future Tense: Can Afghanistan’s press survive without the West’s support?” - This July 1 Columbia Journalism Review article features Salam Watandar, a national radio news network for Afghanistan established by Internews.

Related Stories

  • In the Loop

    Cover: Our eyes, our future, our dreams...
    Thursday, February 9, 2017

    In the Loop explores the concerns and perceptions of people affected by the EU refugee crisis. Internews documents online and offline feedback gathered from refugees and migrants on a daily basis. By providing analysis of this feedback, the review aims to strengthen accountability and close the feedback loop by giving voice to Persons of Concern.