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Tunisia

Blog   |   Tunisia

Tunisia constitution needs stronger free press guarantees

Human rights groups and legislators are praising the third and final draft of Tunisia's new constitution as one of the most liberal charters in the Arab world--and for being arrived at by a remarkably consensual process among political parties, especially if compared with neighboring Egypt and Libya.

Blog   |   Tunisia

Receding hopes for press freedom in Tunisia

Tunisian journalists from Assabah call for more freedom at a protest in Tunis on September 11, 2012. (AFP/Khalil)

These days, press freedom in Tunisia feels ever more distant.

Many journalists believed that media freedoms, which were virtually nonexistent under former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, would grow after his ouster. During the aftermath of the December 2010 uprising, an independent press blossomed and special commissions were set up to reform the media sector. But since the elected government took office nine months ago, the tide has slowly reversed.

Blog   |   Tunisia

Tunisian media: One year after the revolution

The doses of freedom that the Tunisian revolution injected into national media have not been sufficient to revive it after decades of systematic destruction. It is not surprising that our evaluation of media one year after the tyrant fell reveals more negativity and pessimism.

January 23, 2012 1:42 PM ET

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Blog   |   Tunisia

Tunisian TV station's suspension reflects tenuous freedom

On Sunday, the privately owned broadcaster Hannibal TV was forced off the air for more than three hours. The state-owned news agency Agence Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) issued a statement stating that an arrest warrant had been issued for the station's owner on charges of "high treason" for an alleged "plot to destabilize national security." The statement accused the owner of using the Hannibal broadcasts to undermine Tunisia's stability. 

January 25, 2011 11:13 AM ET

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Blog   |   Internet, Tunisia

Will Tunisia's 'Internet revolution' endure?

There has been a great deal written online about how much of a positive role the Internet played in recent events in Tunisia (if you'd like to catch up, Alex Howard's link round-up provides a good summary of the many sides, both for and against). At CPJ, our focus is on slightly different questions: How did the repression of the Internet hamper the ability to safely gather news, report and analyze such events? Did that repression grow worse in the dying days of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's government? Will it improve in the future?

January 25, 2011 10:31 AM ET

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Blog   |   Tunisia

Freed! Fahem Boukadous released in Tunisia

For those who have spent countless hours exposing and combating Tunisia's vast press freedom abuses, today is truly a glorious day. Tunisian authorities released the ailing imprisoned journalist Fahem Boukadous, a day after CPJ called on the transitional government to honor its pledge to free all political prisoners. Today, we can loudly proclaim that no journalist or blogger is imprisoned in the government's dungeons and that Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's censorship is no longer imposed on Tunisians. 

January 19, 2011 9:16 PM ET

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Blog   |   Internet, Tunisia

Internet censorship halts in Tunisia

So much has happened in Tunisia since I last blogged on the large-scale phishing attacks against activists and journalists in the country. With the fall of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and a new interim government in place, online censorship seems to be ending. Opposition media and human rights sites are viewable, and CPJ's Tunisia reports are now available in the country (although it was always possible to access them through our https service). Social networking sites such as Facebook are available without the password-stealing code of the previous cybersecurity regime. I've yet to hear of any site that remains blocked, although Tunisia's filtering system was so byzantine, it's hard to conclusively tell whether it has been completely shut down.

January 19, 2011 2:45 PM ET

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Blog   |   Internet, Tunisia

Tunisia invades, censors Facebook, other accounts

Tunisian authorities have tried to censor photos just like this one, which shows civil unrest in Tunis. (AFP/Fethi Belaid)

The Tunisian government has been a notorious censor for many years, for journalists online and off. In the wake of widespread domestic protests in December, however, the authorities appear to have turned to even more repressive tactics to silence reporting. In the case of Internet bloggers, this includes what seems a remarkably invasive and technically sophisticated plan to steal passwords from the country's own citizens, in order to spy on private communications and squelch online speech.

January 5, 2011 12:48 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burma, China, Internet, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Russia, Sweden, Tunisia

Protecting yourself from denial-of-service attacks

It's my second link to a report by Hal Roberts (and others at the Berkman Center) in as many days, but I worry that this this detailed document on denial-of-service (DOS) and hacking attacks on independent media and human rights groups might get missed in the holiday season.

The news headlines in the last few weeks have been full of stories of how DOS attacks can bring down even high-profile websites, often with relatively little technical expertise on behalf of the attackers. Such attacks are nothing new to online journalists across the world, however. Just this year, CPJ has dealt with cases of independent news sites being taken offline by remote Internet attacks in China, Burma, Vietnam, Russia, Kazakhstan, and now Belarus.

The Berkman Center's report details over three hundred other cases from 1998 onwards, from Sweden to North Korea. More important, the researchers interviewed the victims of these attacks, and categorized what defenses were practical and effective -- and what did not work.

If you're an online journalist with powerful opponents, I'd strongly encourage you to read this document and pass it along to your tech-savvy associates. Even a small amount of preparation can help keep vital news and opinion available online when you -- and your readers -- most need it.

December 21, 2010 3:31 PM ET

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Blog   |   Internet, Tunisia

Analysing Tunisia's Net censorship

Obviously all of these assumptions are mere speculations. This is an effort on our part to try to better understand one of the most secretive system of repression in Tunisia and to help demystify its processes. And obviously, we invite anyone with further information to make them public, and a fortiori, it may be that former collaborators of this repressive system finally reveal what can help Tunisia to get rid of this evil.

Jillian York has translated Sami Ben Gharbia and Astrubal's analysis of Tunisia's Internet censorship system. As they say, it's mostly conjectural, but based on a few hours earlier this month when parts of the censorship system were turned off. By looking at what still remained blocked, the two were able to make guesses as to how the technical infrastructure worked.

August 18, 2010 8:53 PM ET

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