Abed Kataya

Digital Content Manager at SMEX. Digital safety trainer and freelance journalist. Interested in technology, economics and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter @kataya_abd.

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Content Moderation Bias: Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube Cancel Leila Khaled

On September 23, Zoom cancelled a virtual event featuring the Palestinian Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s (PFLP) veteran Leila Khaled. The virtual event was organized by the Arab and Muslim Ethnicity and Diasporas Studies (AMED Studies) at San Francisco State University (SFSU). After the event was announced on Facebook, certain Jewish and Zionist …

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How The Global Internet Disruption Affected Lebanon

On Sunday afternoon, Lebanese internet users reported an internet disruption that made it almost impossible to access platforms like Twitter. Users were under the impression the disruption was due to a telecommunication outage because of the recent fuel and electricity crisis, or some new repressive action by the government. But the SMEX team found that …

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The TikTok Case: A New Platform to Oppress Women in Egypt

Egyptian authorities are arresting an increasing number of women on different charges related to their social media activity; in some cases, female TikTok users are receiving prison sentences and forced to pay hefty fines.  The most recent case, which asserts that the accused women’s videos on TikTok stand in “violation of Egyptian family values,” may …

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Mapping the telecom outages in Lebanon

Report any telecommunications outage that happens in Lebanon by filling out this form. We will use this information to update the map. Lebanon is experiencing a financial crisis that is damaging all sectors in society, including telecommunications. In addition to an increase in power cuts across the country, SMEX has recorded outages that have specifically …

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Critical information security issues in Jawaker and how to fix them

Jawaker, a mobile application that witnessed an increase in popularity during the COVID-19 crisis period, has many privacy and security issues. Based out of the United Arab Emirates, Jawaker provides popular card games, like 400, Leekha, and Tarneeb. It also provides many in-game chat features between users, and gives them the ability to join clubs …

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What the Lebanese government can do to respect users’ privacy while fighting Covid-19?

As the Covid-19 virus continues to spread across the world, governments are adopting surveillance measures to track patients, raising privacy concerns. Lebanon, like many other countries, has launched digital tools to help diagnose and monitor the spread of the outbreak. The tools launched by the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) do not appear to …

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How to improve your digital safety while working remotely

With more countries announcing a state of emergency in response to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, organizations have begun adopting “work from home” policies. The number of organizations taking this approach will likely increase going forward and users and organizations must pay attention to their digital safety while working from home. While working from home, …

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Bread&Net 2019: A Digital Rights Revolution

From November 15 to 17, more than 250 participants gathered for Bread&Net 2019 in the heart of Beirut. With the ongoing Lebanese revolution, this was a special year for our regional digital rights unconference. The political situation was a major focus, from a topic of discussion during various panels to the session venues being named …

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Dear Careem, Stop Sharing Riders’ Personal Information with Drivers

It was recently revealed that Careem, the Emirati-based ride hailing company, recently purchased by Uber, routinely shares riders’ full names and phone numbers with drivers, or “captains” as the company refers to them. This policy has resulted in drivers sending unsolicited Facebook friend requests to riders, violating their privacy and potentially threatening their safety. On …

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Data Privacy Day: A reminder to start protecting your data and yourself

Happy Data Privacy Day! More than half of the world is now online. Companies are collecting, leveraging, and monetizing our data, often exposing it to third parties. We continue to call on governments in the region to respect our privacy and set legal frameworks to protect privacy and personal data, and corporations to stop siphoning …

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