Morocco: Censorship Update

2006 was a rough year for Moroccan internet freedoms, with several sites being blocked; 2007 wasn't much better with sites that were previously open becoming only sporadically accessible.

Moi, dans tous mes états (fr) summarized freedom of internet (as well as other forms of media) in a recent post:

A l’heure des podcasts et autres émissions sur le réseau internet, la régulation est un leurre.

« Et nous sommes arrivés à la même conclusion : la bataille de la régulation sur Internet est perdue d'avance » dixit Ahmed Ghazali. Le choix de plus en plus multiples d’émissions et de chaînes impose aux opérateurs marocains plus d’audace dans la concrétisation de ce projet.

In the age of podcasts and other shows on the internet, regulation is a decoy.”And we've arrived at the same conclusion: the battle for regulation of the internet is already lost” said Ahmed Ghazali. The growing choice of all sorts of shows and channels imposes greater audacity in the concretion of this project for Moroccan operators [media producers].”

Censorship of opposition voices from the Western Sahara also remains an issue, with many blogs from that region being blocked in the rest of Morocco. Freedom Writer quoted a recent MAP (Maghreb Arab Presse) article, while asvdh commented upon a Human Rights Watch article regarding freedom of expression in Western Sahara.

Although an article by AFP suggests that Moroccan bloggers have more freedom than those in other Arab and Muslim countries, the fact that Livejournal is still frequently inaccessible proves that there's still a ways to go. According to MoTIC, who keeps a tab at the top of his site, Google Maps and Google Earth remain blocked as well. A post by Matthew Helmke mentions other blocked sites such as OpenDNS, anonymizer.com, multiproxy.org, “and on occasion You Tube.”

2 comments

  • “the battle for regulation of the internet is already lost” : this is what we need the arab and muslim leaders to understand, just like ghazali, a head of moroccan media authority.
    Thank you for link.

  • North American media is subject to increasing censorship as well, not from the government but from Muslim groups:

    http://lee-phillips.org/youtube

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