Mandatory App, Opaque Policies: The Policy Void that Threatens the Privacy of Qatar World Cup Attendees [REPORT]

For the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, a plethora of technologies are being deployed including smart city tech, drones, and facial recognition, and a mandatory digital registration system, known as Hayya (“let’s go” in Arabic). To access the tournament, spectators are required to obtain a Hayya card using the mandatory Hayya application. The Hayya …

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Will Qatar Get a Red Card on Digital Rights?: What you should know if you are traveling to Qatar for the World Cup

In the coming days, Qatar will find itself at the center of attention. The country is hosting one of the biggest sporting events on the planet: the FIFA World Cup. In response, SMEX and Ranking Digital Rights (RDR) are teaming up to launch Red Card on Digital Rights: a three-parties series investigating the state of …

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After Algeria’s Hirak Movement: Retaliation Against Digital Spaces

In June 2022, an Algerian court sentenced journalist Ihsane El-Kadi to six months in prison for an article he published on Radio M a year earlier. In it El-Kadi supported the right of the Rachad Movement to take part in the popular mobilizations demanding democracy. Following the eruption of the Hirak movement in 2019, authorities …

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Lebanon: Telecom Devices Confiscated in Syrian Refugee Camps

Security forces raided the tents of Syrian refugees in several towns in the Beqaa Valley, Lebanon, between October 10 and 14, confiscating radios, televisions, mobile phones, internet routers, and satellite dishes and practically cutting off the camps from their surroundings and the world at large, according to what a camp resident told SMEX. “I own …

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2023 SMEX Fellowship on Technology and Human Rights

New technologies are at the heart of struggles for rights in the MENA region, offering unprecedented opportunities for freedom of expression, networking and mobilization. These technologies also, however, have been assimilated into existing systems of control leading to a host of threats, from privacy breaches to targeted harassment and suppression of dissent. Authoritarian regimes across …

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Decree-Law No. 54 in Tunisia: Freedom of the Press in Jeopardy!

On September 22, Tunisian reporter and journalist Adel Al Futaiti stood before the Deputy Public Prosecutor to testify in court after a municipal councilor filed a lawsuit against him.  Al Futaiti had been detained after publishing a video showing a local official taking garbage bins that belong to the municipality. The municipal official had also …

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Unwarranted Phone Seizure Violates Egypt’s Laws and Constitution

Authorities in Cairo and other Egyptian cities have reinstated the old tactic of randomly searching and confiscating personal devices on the streets, in public squares, and on metro stations. People are being stopped at check-points where they are forced to unlock their phones to be inspected.  “The government usually implements this procedure during national occasions, …

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Call for Stories: Technology and Human Rights at the Qatar World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is an exciting event for many around the world. For those in the Arab region, this event will be even more special given that it’s taking place in the region for the first time.  SMEX is calling for story pitches on the intersection of technology and human rights in the context …

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