TIMEP Brief: Use of Surveillance Technology in MENA

Source: The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy

Author(s): The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy

Original Link: 

Governments across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have increasingly procured surveillance technology, often from technology firms based in North America and Europe , in the form of spyware, monitoring centers to intercept communication, and deep packet inspections that monitor and redirect internet flow. While some of these tools ostensibly could have legitimate use for law enforcement, it is unclear whether they have been in fact used for such purposes. States in the region have instead employed them against journalists, activists, and political dissidents, violating rights such as the those to life, privacy, and freedom of expression.

Information on which technology is used, by whom, and against which targets is still scarce, given that these spying operations are by their nature clouded in secrecy. Most of the data currently available comes from the work of journalists and civil society organizations.

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