Stories about Middle East & North Africa from June, 2013
Last week's revelations about phone and Internet surveillance programs run by the US government's National Security Agency (NSA) sent shock waves throughout the United States and the western media, but also around the globe. While in the US, many privacy-minded lawmakers and even digital rights advocates used the news as an opportunity to demand better protections for Americans' online privacy, Internet users worldwide were left wondering how to protect their own data in the face of these threats.
As the #OccupyGezi protests have surged, Turkish mainstream media has foundered, failing to cover the anti-government demonstrations for fear of retribution. Citizen journalists have stepped up to fill the role, reporting and filming so that the Turkish people and the world can see what's happening in the country.
The critical role that social media and the Internet are playing in the anti-government protests engulfing Istanbul and other parts of the country has not gone unnoticed by Turkish authorities. Police have arrested dozens of people accused of publishing “misinformation” on Twitter to encourage others to join in the ongoing unrest.
Following the Saudi threat to block encrypted communication software unless the government is allowed to spy, the instant messaging application Viber was blocked earlier yesterday. The website can no longer be accessed and the application does not connect.