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WeGov

Social Media Has Been a Mixed Blessing for the Arab Spring

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, February 15 2013

Cairo graffiti (image: Hossam El-Hamalawy/Flickr)

Two years ago, social media was the star of the Arab Spring. Today it is still important, but there is ample evidence to support the theory that it is also harmful. Read More

WeGov

In Egypt, the Government Issues Official Announcements on Facebook

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, December 17 2012

Cairo protester's sign says "no to the constitution" (credit: Hossam El Hamalawy)

Last week the Egyptian government announced draconian tax increases and subsidy reductions that caused a huge wave of protest. Within hours, the president revoked the announcement — in the middle of the night, on Facebook. Read More

WeGov

After 3-Day Internet Shutdown, Syria's Regime is Now Targeting Activists with Powerful New Malware

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, December 6 2012

When the Syrian Internet system was cut off last week, observers feared the regime had cut the civilian population off for good so that the army could do its worst without having to worry about activists filming massacres and uploading the footage to YouTube. In fact the Internet was restored after three days. But now the regime is using powerful new malware to target activists. Read More

Syria's Internet Completely Cut Off for the First Time Since its Civil War Began

BY Sam Roudman | Thursday, November 29 2012

After a Damascus car bomb (credit: FreedomHouse/Flickr)

Since early this morning, the Internet has been effectively cut off in Syria. Internet intelligence company Renesys reported that all 84 of Syria’s ISP address blocks have become unreachable. The most recent update at noon shows 92 percent of Syria’s networks still down. Read More

WeGov

Egyptian Belly Dancer's Salacious Video Mocking Muslim Brotherhood Goes Viral

BY Mahmoud Salem | Monday, November 19 2012

Sama El Masry (publicity shot)

Last week Sama El Masry, a famous Egyptian belly dancer, uploaded a home-made video to YouTube; it shows her in a skin tight outfit, swinging her hips seductively to a song rife with anti-Muslim Brotherhood political innuendo. The sexy little number set the Egyptian social media and political worlds ablaze — but not only because it mocked the prudish Islamists with the double whammy of gyrating hips and lyrics that were a blatant political satire that pulled no punches. In a bizarre twist that could only happen in post-revolutionary Egypt, the dancer was also famous for claiming to be the ex-wife of a Salafi member of parliament. Read More

WeGov

U.A.E. Passes New Law Prescribing Mandatory Jail Time for Online Dissidents

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, November 13 2012

The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) is cracking down on dissent with a new law that stipulates jail time for anyone who criticizes the government online, reports the Global Arab Network. Read More

WeGov

Morsi Meter Releases Status Report on Egyptian President's First 100 Days

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, October 15 2012

Screenshot of the MorsiMeter site

The people behind the MorsiMeter, a website that monitors and updates readers about the Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi's progress in implementing his campaign promises, have released a report assessing his first 100 days in his office. Read More

WeGov

Jordan's Flourishing IT Economy Could Falter With Passing of New Media Law

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, October 2 2012

Jordan's parliament has passed controversial legislation that would give the government sweeping powers to censor and block online content. Jordan is a regional IT innovation hub that has benefited from the small kingdom's political moderation and free Internet. But the new law could undermine both the innovation sector and online freedom of expression. Read More

WeGov

Interactive Map Tracks Defections of High Ranking Syrians

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, September 20 2012

Screenshot of Aljazeera's interactive map of Syrian defections.

As Syria's civil war rages on, with no end in sight, defections of high ranking citizens — government officials and arm officers — continues. An interactive map produced by Aljazeera English tracks the defections, provides context and details. It's an excellent resource for Syria watchers. Read More

WeGov

Tunisia Announces Intention to End Internet Censorship

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, September 13 2012

Nearly two years after the ousting of long-time authoritarian leader Ben Ali, Tunisia has announced that Internet censorship will be lifted. Under Ben Ali, Tunisia was classified by Reporters Without Borders as an Enemy of the Internet. Many restrictions have been eased since the revolution, but there are signs that the government has not really stopped snooping. Read More