Staying online: Coping with censorship and online interference


Dec 03 – Dec 09


What to do when websites are blocked and Internet users become targets of persecution? This session will provide hands-on information on how to deal with censorship and interference, while presenting relevant international initiatives. Additionally, it will shed light on the legal state of the Internet in the countries of the Maghreb, and ongoing developments there.

This session is co-organised with Reporters Without Borders.

Our Experts

Moez Chakchouk holds a Ph.D in telecommunications and applied mathematics. He started his career in 1998 as a research engineer in The Center of Telecommunication Studies and Research (CERT) and as a member of the R&D project PINA. In 2002, he became the chief of the R&D project: RACINES, then joined the Telecommunications Regulation Authority (INT) in July 2005. In March 2010, he was appointed as Tunisia’s Adviser to the Minister of Communications Technology.
A few weeks after the Tunisian revolution, Chakchouk became the designated chairman and CEO of the Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI). His aim is to redefine the role of the ATI, which used to be the former government’s instrument to censorship the Internet. Furthermore, he wants to investigate the potential of the Internet for social and political change in Tunisia.

Grégoire Pouget worked for 10 years as an editor, webdesigner and developer before joining Reporters Without Borders (RWB). After having worked as head of the IT department, he joined the new media office where he leads projects on data security and the circumvention of censorship on the net.
He likes marine animals and can free dive for almost 12 minutes. But it is not due to these qualities that he works today in an international organization, but rather his disposition to look for a file on an OS by using a command-line rather than the mouse. “Well, it’s just faster,” as he says.


Staying online: surf safely, surf freely

Staying online safely, protecting yourself against state interference or cyber-attacks, and working your way around internet censorship are really just two sides of the same coin.  Below, you will find some guidance on how to surf more safely, how to use a proxy and how to mirror a censored blog.

Do you have more tips and useful tools how to stay safe on the net? Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter or per email!

Staying online: Who’s working on it?

Quite a few free speech organizations and advocacy groups work on promoting freedom of expression and fighting censorship, especially on the internet. Below are a few – do you know others? Let us know!

Staying online: Who’s studying it?

Even though the role of internet and especially social media in the uprising in the Arab World has been widely discussed, there are suprisingly few studies about the topic.

Do you know any other interesting studies on internet usage, security, and censorship in the region? Let us know via Facebook, Twitter or per email!

Staying online: legal frameworks

Internet legislation varies from country to country, being nonexistent in some nations, while others have or are currently developing new legal frameworks for the internet and access to information. Tunisia in particular has seen new laws concerning freedom of expression and the status of online media after the uprising, and Morocco is currently discussing new policy. In addition to laws specifically concerning the internet, general law (for example on freedom of expression, but also defamation) applies. This map specifies where laws on access to information exist.


Open Net Initiative Country Profile (2009)


Piecemeal restrictions a threat to internet freedom in Egypt, by Human Rights First

Open Net Initiative Country Profile (2009)


Open Net Initiative Country Profile (2009)


Open Net Initiative Country Profile (2009)

Internet law – WIPO recommends Morocco’s IP initiatives


Tunisia: Protecting free expression and free information in new constitution – a policy brief by Article 19 (Arabic)

Tunisia: Press regulation by Article 19

What is free expression for Tunisia?

Do you have additional information on the legal framework in your countries? Share them with the other participants!