Data Protection and Privacy Laws In MENA: A Case Study Of Covid-19 Contact Tracing Apps [Report]

This report analyzes data protection and privacy laws in Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait. Joey Shea, a researcher and analyst specialized in security and political repression, documents the deployment of COVID-19 contact tracing applications in these states. The report, which was supported through CYRILLA’s Applied Advocacy and[…]

Device Seizures in Lebanon: Assessing the Legal Framework concerning device seizures [Report]

We have witnessed in the last couple of years a striking increase in the number of devices seized by security agencies in Lebanon, a phenomenon that became more pronounced following the October 2019 uprising. When it comes to these seizures, the legal framework is vague and often exploited or circumvented[…]

The Future of Biometrics and Digital ID in Lebanon: Assessing Proposed Systems for Elections and Social Assistance [Report]

In Lebanon, passports, drivers’ licenses, work permits, residency permits, and humanitarian aid all use systems that require biometric data, such as  unique fingerprints or iris scans of citizens, residents, and refugees. In 2017, the newly passed electoral law stated that voters would use “magnetic voting cards” to vote in the[…]

Lebanese ISPs Lack Transparency

SMEX recently conducted research to assess the transparency of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Lebanon. Upon gathering information regarding licensed service providers in Lebanon through the Ministry of Telecommunication, we found that there are 114 licensed ISPs in the country: 39 ISPs have websites 4 ISPs have a privacy policy[…]

New Report: ”Analyzing Freedom of Expression in Lebanon in 2018”

Over the past four years, Lebanon has witnessed a crackdown against freedom of expression online. The state has penalized citizens, journalists, and civil society representatives who criticize government officials or mock religious figures, worsening the overall environment for free speech online. In our newest report, “Analyzing Freedom of Expression Online[…]

Online Privacy Threats to Women and LGBTIQ Communities in Lebanon

As part of the 16 Days Against Gender Based Violence, we are releasing our new report “Online Privacy Threats to Women and the LGBTIQ Community in Lebanon,” which documents the state of digital privacy for women and LGBTIQ individuals in the country. We found that although the digital space can[…]

Mobile internet speeds up the Arab countries, but fixed broadband lags behind

 Feature image via Oakla: The internet speed chart in August – Lebanon.  Yet, it is interesting that many of the Arab countries have improved mobile internet speed, but they rank lower in fixed broadband as Lebanon, Egypt and Algeria are towards the bottom of the list. Mobile network ranking Lebanon had[…]

New Elections Study Shows Less than 2% of Overall Electoral Speech on Social Media Was Negative

 Feature image April 2018: A screenshot of the API used to track social media posts. SMEX and LADE collaborated to monitor candidates’ social media speech during the most recent Lebanese parliamentary elections. The increasing role of social media in shaping public opinion – especially during national elections – goes hand[…]

Dependent Yet Disenfranchised: The Policy Void That Threatens the Rights of Mobile Users in Arab States

  In the context of growing government control of mobile networks and a lack of transparency by both governments and companies in making these controls visible, this report, “Dependent Yet Disenfranchised: The Policy Void that Threatens the Rights of Mobile Users in Arab States” seeks to document the public disclosure[…]

Human Rights Organizations Call for Investigation Into Arbitrary Surveillance Program in Lebanon

Feature image via Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch: A large watchful eye observes as three laptops display information on their screens.  (Beirut) – Lebanon’s general prosecutor should investigate reports of secret large-scale surveillance tied to a Lebanese intelligence agency, seven human rights and media organizations said today. Privacy and surveillance researchers on January[…]

Digital Citizen 4.4

Feature image via Citizen Lab: Tag cloud of bait content topics used by Stealth Falcon showing a strong emphasis on political topics and narratives critical of the UAE government. In this month’s volume, we look at new research from Citizen Lab and provide updates on trials in the region. ACCESS[…]

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