Who we are
Our vision is for everyone living in WANA and the diaspora to be able to access and engage with the internet, mobile services, and other networked spaces safely and without fear of censorship, surveillance, or repercussion.
We advance digital rights in the West Asia and North Africa region through research, campaigns, and advocacy. We encourage users to engage with digital technology, media, and social networks responsibly and critically.
We believe in the transformative power of access to information and self-expression, both online and offline. We assert that these rights are essential to peaceful, dynamic, and prosperous societies.
Our innovative initiatives have had substantial and measurable effects on public discourse around the Arab world. Not only have our research and campaigns shed light on some of the most pressing issues of our digital lives, they’ve also been covered by some of the region’s largest media outlets.
SMEX’s influence is ever-growing as we branch out and create new networks designed to defend, secure and expand digital rights.
We at SMEX champion the notion that the internet is a public space made for all, which is why we’ve been committed to keeping the internet accessible, free and open.
Over the past fifteen years, we have worked to urge policymakers to improve their policies, disseminated valuable information through articles and training sessions, organized conferences, conducted comprehensive investigations, and continue to advocate for free, fair, and secure access to digital resources.
What we do
We’re an ambitious and smart team with a shared mission
Researching Internet Law & Policy
People are oftentimes unaware of what digital laws and policies dictate, or are unfamiliar with their complicated terminology. Our research is aimed towards understanding the laws and policies that govern online activity and informing the public about their rights in a more concise and comprehensible way.
Advocating For An Open, Secure Internet
By fostering the creation of networks between journalists, activists, non-profits, and media organizations, SMEX pushes for a free and open internet, without restrictions set by governments or private corporations.
Tracking Digital Rights Violations
Service providers, along with state and non-state actors, have been known to infringe on our rights as service-users and citizens through digital means. SMEX constantly checks and investigates claims of violations such as restrictions on freedom of expression or breaches of consumers’ terms and agreements. By keeping a watchful eye, we call out violators and inform the public on how their rights have been infringed upon.
Keeping You Safe Online
Accessing the internet can sometimes prove to be a liability, with private companies extracting users’ personal data, governments practicing censorship and surveillance against their citizens, and non-state actors extorting end-users for money using malware. SMEX works to ensure everyone’s safety online to make accessing digital platforms more secure.
Producing Localized Resources
As one of the main organizations dealing with digital issues in the WANA region, SMEX creates informational spaces and material to disseminate best online practices. Through these activities, we reach a broad spectrum of end-users to further our common goals of digital rights and freedom.