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Thursday, 3 April 2014. Tunisian Technical Agency for Telecommunications (ATT): Is it a new tool for mass surveillance? Does it protect Tunisians’ online safety, or threaten their privacy?
The quest for an open Internet in the Middle East and Northern Africa
What do civil society actors and activists from MENA say about Internet freedom?
As an Arab citizen, Internet freedom is very important because, unlike democratic societies, in the Arab region we lack a space to express ourselves. The Internet also represents a platform that bridges the communication gap and facilitates interaction amongst different society segments and social media channels like Twitter or Facebook – Jordan 
The Internet has a significant value for users in general and for human rights activists and bloggers in particular. Its availability is a pressing matter since it proved to be the best way to air our opinions to the world – Iraq 
Access to Internet is an inherent right and I will stand against anyone who prevents me from having it. However, this right shouldn’t be used to offend other people as moral values should be respected – Iraq 
Civil society should have space to express opinions and share perspectives on how Internet policies are drafted – Egypt 
As Internet user from an Arab country, I believe Internet is mostly a mean of communication and a vector to develop knowledge and practical perspective on economic, social and educational matters – Tunis 
Today, most of the economic activities evolve around the Internet. It helps creating wealth, and new job opportunities and provides a venue for people to improve and share their knowledge – Iraq 
Certainly, Internet access should be considered as a basic right for everyone. A right which is indivisible and indisputable – Egypt 
As an Arab citizen, Internet freedom is crucial because it helps people be part of the Internet society. Moreover, it has become an integral part of the Arab citizen everyday life – Tunis 
Honestly, Internet brings a lot of values to my life. In the past, it was really difficult to find information or communicate with people in other countries. Now, to read a newspaper in order to know what’s happening around the world, you don’t have anymore to go and buy newspaper or magazine from a kiosk – Libya 
It goes without saying that Internet access is a human right. Having the right to access Internet clearly highlighted in countries legislation provides a guarantee not to mess with it – Lebanon 
I think each country has a specific way in setting policies and strategies and dealing with people. However, since the Internet is a global network, it is quite challenging to control it. It is legitimate for a country to protect its sovereignty and citizens from external threats. On the other hand, each state Internet policy differs according to its own agenda – Iran   

Programme Objectives

Improved Knowledge
on Internet Governance in the MENA Region
Building the capacity of different stakeholders on the IG process through organising onsite and online awareness raising activities.

Empowering these stakeholders to take the lead in pushing Internet policy agenda in their countries and be engaged in the regional policy dialogue at the Arab Internet Governance Forum, then in the global discussion at the IGF.
Enhanced Legislation
on Internet Policies in the MENA Region
Raising awareness of stakeholders to
influence the decision-making process
and play an active role in promoting and
safeguarding Internet freedom in the local
legislation.

Drafting Internet-related policies through
a participatory approach that engages
different stakeholders.

The Programme Will Work On Three Pillars Dimension

An adopted methodology of merging technology and policy with advocacy. This is done through preparing civic actors to take the lead in advocating for online human rights and Internet policy while working closely with other stakeholders concerned.