MENA region

Save the Date: Bread&Net is back! 15 to 17 November 2019

SMEX is thrilled to announce the return of Bread&Net, the annual Arabic-language unconference to strengthen and defend human rights in digitally networked spaces in the MENA region. Join us from 15 to 17 November 2019 at Antwork in Beirut! We took your comments and feedback from last year’s inaugural Bread&Net to heart, and together with …

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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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Uber buys Careem: What does that mean to us as consumers?

On Tuesday, Uber announced that it acquired Careem, the sole competitor in the Middle East, for $ 3.1 billion. $ 1.4 billion will be paid in cash and Careem shareholders will receive $ 1.7 billion in Uber shares. “Uber will have all its transport, delivery and payment operations across the Greater Middle East,” said Careem, …

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A Snapshot of Digital Rights Coverage in the MENA Region

Introduction One day in early 2015, Habib Battah, an investigative journalist who operates the website Beirut Report, noticed new construction works in the city’s Hamra district. Hoping that this was the physical manifestation of much-touted plans to upgrade the notoriously slow internet in Lebanon, he observed thin blue pipe being laid into newly dug trenches, …

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Careem Reports that the Data of 14.5 Million Users Has Been Compromised

On Monday, Careem, the Dubai-based ride-hailing company operating in the MENA region, Turkey, and Pakistan, announced that it learned “online criminals” had obtained the personal information of over 14.5 million users and drivers, including their trip histories, on January 14, 2018. According to a spokesperson from Careem, the company’s records show that the system was …

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Turkey Responsible for More than Half of Twitter’s Content Removal Requests and Other Trends from the MENA Region

Feature image: A map displaying requests for content removal in the second half of 2017. On April 6, Twitter launched the 12 Twitter Transparency Report, its 12th biannual report documenting the requests the company receives from governments to remove content or reveal account information. Twitter splits removal requests into three categories: court orders, reports based …

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Two New MENA-Region Exploits Demonstrate the Desire for Information Control

The discovery of the Dark Caracal surveillance scheme in Lebanon earlier this year put the world on notice that states in the MENA region are developing significant digital surveillance and information control capacities of their own. Now new exploits in Turkey and Egypt have been revealed.   According to “Bad Traffic,” a new report from …

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#GenderTech Confronts Gender-Based Violence in MENA

   Feature image viaOxfam/The Media Booth,  November 24, 2017, Beirut, Lebanon: Arab feminists discuss how to counter online violence.   Is the internet providing more space for women to liberate themselves, or expanding the space for gender-based violence? To mark the international “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence” campaign, Oxfam, in collaboration with SMEX and …

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MENA Internet Freedom Roundup: October 2017

   From the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s attempt to criminalize online speech to its development of advanced facial recognition technology, we ask, are critical views able to be expressed in the kingdom during its current internal power struggle? In this month’s roundup of the latest digital rights-related news from the region, we follow up on …

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Regional Beirut Workshop Agrees to Cooperate on Right to Information

A regional workshop on the right to information held in Beirut from 8-9 June 2017, bringing together participants from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen, and hosted by Social Media Exchange, the Centre for Law and Democracy and International Media Support, has agreed to create a regional network of right to information activists. …

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