Internet Censorship and the Intraregional Geopolitical Conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa
20 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2019
Date Written: January 2019
This study examines and maps Internet filtering practices around intraregional geopolitics in the Middle East and North Africa based on empirical data collected from 16 countries. The study finds that state censors employ technical Internet filtering as instruments to prevent content aligned with their rival states from reaching a domestic audience. The Internet filtering practices reflect the inter-state political rivalries, the contours of the geopolitical violent and nonviolent conflicts, and the political alliances around the conflicts. State-to-state geopolitical Internet filtering is becoming the new norm in the region, which is a stage of multiple adversarial political fronts. The blocked content contains counter-framing from rival sources that could potentially inform internal dissent and debate.
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