Digital Rights

Bread&Net 2022 Wrap Up: Five Years On

This year’s turnout at Bread&Net exceeded our expectations! More than 800 attendees took part in what became the largest convention on human rights in the Arabic-speaking region.  In more than 100 sessions across 19 tracks, we addressed the most threatening challenges that restrict our rights and freedoms in the digital sphere. We also explored opportunities …

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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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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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Libya: Online Voices Silenced with Violence

Earlier this month, the Libyan Armed Forces under Commander-in-Chief Khalifa Haftar not only besieged the Abu Hadi region south of Sirte, but “they also shut down internet and telecom services.” According to Libyan Crimes Watch, Haftar’s forces claimed they were waging a security offensive to capture fugitives in the area. Internet shutdowns have been frequently …

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Palestine: Online Work Booming despite Occupation Constraints

A few days ago, Rula Abdeen, 22, from Gaza City, was busy carefully packaging handmade wooden accessories and crafts in cardboard boxes, in preparation for a handicraft exhibition in the city. Like many young people in Gaza and Palestine, finding a job after graduation was not easy for her. Unemployment rates in the Gaza Strip …

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Lebanon: SMEX Demands a New Privacy Law

We appreciate the Lebanese Central Inspection’s efforts to seriously consider and respond to inquiries by SMEX and other organizations regarding data collection on the DAEM Social Safety Net platform.  We also acknowledge that DAEM’s data collection and processing practices adhere to the Ration Card Law No. 230/2021 law and its legal implementation mechanism. The  recently …

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A New (Non-)Privacy Policy from WhatsApp? [A comparison between messaging applications]

Tech and media companies are exploiting free, popular apps to increase their access to  personal data; and WhatsApp has just followed suit. The app has been sending notifications about an odd update to its privacy policy. The latest policy grants Whatsapp permission to share users’ data with its parent company, Facebook—as well as its subsidiaries. …

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Bread&Net 2020nline | Corporates, Governments and the Pandemic: Threats to Digital Freedom

Bread&Net 2020nline welcomed more than 800 participants from 32 countries on Hopin this year! Over four eventful days, we held 63 diverse sessions, with over 100 speakers who joined us to share their valuable insights. Totalitarian Arab regimes, monopolized telecommunications infrastructures, armies of bots promoting fake news, increased surveillance disguised as COVID-19 tracking apps, among …

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