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  • sami ben gharbia 4:12 pm on July 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: activism, , , ,   

    Censorship in Tunisia, a nightmare! A video clip about the ban of Flickr in Tunisia. 

    This video mashup is about the ban of Flickr, the popular and one of the best online photo-sharing website, in Tunisia since April 28th, 2010. The clip is inspired by Anthony Hopkins’s film “Slipstream“, especially with the little flash cuts in the scenes. The burning of the ‘Mona Lisa’ scene is from Kurt Wimmer’s “Equilibrium” (2002).

    The Flickr images used in this clip are under Creative Commons:

  • sami ben gharbia 2:46 pm on May 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: activism, , , , , manif22mai, SayebSala7,   

    Anti-censorship movement in Tunisia: creativity, courage and hope! 

    A cartoon by the prominent Tunisian blogger and cartoonist Z

    Following the recent massive wave of online censorship carried out by the Tunisian censor, targeting major social websites, such as the popular video-sharing websites, flickr, blogs aggregators, blogs, facebook pages and profiles, the anti-censorship movement adopted very creative, outspoken and brave tactics in protesting the online censorship. A censorship that is not only harming the country’s average Internet users but is also affecting professionals whose work is relying on web 2.0 services and platforms, like youtube, flickr and other media-sharing websites.

    Far from being exaggerated, the Tunisian anti-censorhip movement is one of the best innovative in the world and has been adopting creative approaches and tactics from its early beginning to its current stage. From Yezzi Fock Ben Ali! (Enough is enough, Ben Ali!) and its online protest “Freedom of Expression in Mourningorganized during The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held in Tunis in November 2005, to the Google Earth bombing for a free Tunisia, and the several national days and white notes against censorship, despite its technical and tactical advantages, has never managed to go offline and reach out to the average masses of Tunisian Netizens. It was mainly limited to a hard core of digital activists and bloggers who are pushing for a political and social change by making sure to remain independent from any political party while putting their struggle for online free speech within the continual and broader battle for fundamental rights and justice led by the civil society.

    But things are about to change, since the new wave of online censorship is affecting everybody and is not anymore targeting the very dissent and political blogs and websites. Which is why it was not surprising at all to see how much the Tunisian internet community is abuzz with discussions related to various aspects of censorship policy and how much it is embracing and contributing to the anti-censorship protest.

    The new anti-censorship efforts, which were prepared and organized publicly online by grassroots activists – on facebook, twitter and Google Groups and Docs – were involved in a wide range of initiatives and here are the most important ones:

    However, the move that will revolutionize the entire protest had the merit to bring it offline. All started when the virtual protest culminated in a non-virtual one with the initiative Nhar 3la 3ammar (A day against the censor, or manif22mai, #manif22mai on twitter). Two activists and bloggers, Slim Amamou (@slim404) and Yassin Ayari, took upon themselves the courageous responsibility of calling to rally in front of the Tunisian Ministry of communication technologies on May 22nd, while ensuring to request a permit and respect the proper legal procedures which are required to hold a rally. The rally in Tunisia was also part of a May 22 worldwide day against Internet filtering in the country.

    Slim and Yassine, joined at a certain point by Lina Ben Mhenni, mastered the art of communication by making sure to update their friends and sympathizers about each step they are taking, producing a serie of videocasts published on the not-yet-blocked video-sharing website vimeo as well as on facebook.

    And the expected happened: on May 21, a day before the rally, the two main organizers were arrested and investigated during the entire day. They appeared later on separate video messages where they were forced by the security forces to call off the rally and urge protestors to stay home. Slim was also forced to sign a document stating that he “understood that his call for a demonstration is wrong.”

    The Police demanded that Slim records a video asking people not to show up for the planned demonstration. Apparently, Slim had to negotiate the terms of this “friendly public service announcement.” Afterwards, he had to sign a document saying that he “understood that his call for a demonstration is wrong” and then he was driven out by the police to record that “friendly reminder to stay home” aimed to dissuade people from demonstrating.

    The same evening, a communiqué signed by the friends of Yassine & Slim – translated here by our friend from Morocco, Hisham (also available in French and in Arabic) alerted the public opinion and called for a plan B: “walk on Avenue Habib Bourguiba, in downtown Tunis, wearing white shirts and sit in the cafes on May 22nd at 3 pm, as a symbolic act to protest internet censorship“:

    #manif22mai - May 22, 2010 - photo by Olfa (@mimouna on twitter)

    Friday May 21th, from 11 am local Tunis time and until now (6.30 pm), it has become impossible to contact any of both organizers of the citizen’s march, Slim Amamou and Yassin Ayari. This comes despite the fact that both organizers insisted they wouldn’t turn off their cell phones, not today, nor tomorrow, and that in the case their phones were not working they would use any internet connection from any public space nearby. Add to this the fact that Slim’s car was parked near Habib Bourguiba Street, and that most probably both organizers were contacted by the Ministry of the Interior to announce the march was disallowed (…), we assume tat they are now at the headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior or any of its affiliate centers.

    Tomorrow, May 22 is the day of the march, called for by Slim and Yassin, who strictly followed the procedures prescribed by the law protecting the right to protest set forth by the constitutional (specifically Law No. 4 of 24 January 1969 “organizing public meetings and processions and demonstrations and gatherings,” particularly the chapters from Part II and Chapter I in Part I). We call on all citizens to consult the text of the law governing the right to demonstrate available in Arabic and French.


    No one can declare the march “illegal” (nor “legal” for that matter) if the initiators can’t lead it. And until this moment it seems there is no possibility that they would. But at the same time, and as friends of Slim and Yassin, we can’t ignore the many indicators that prove that the march has been banned indeed. And it is necessary to inform everybody of all obstacles and difficulties so as not to leave Slim and Yassin exposed to liability or legal consequences in case the march is declared illegal.

    At the same time we call upon all those who do not see the possibility of participating in the march to join the following initiative.

    The initiative was clearly supported by Slim and it calls on supporters to walk on Avenue Habib Bourguiba wearing white shirts and sit in the cafes on Saturday at three o’clock pm, as a symbolic show of protest against [internet censorship]. At the same time we call on everyone to respect the campaign slogans and principles and focus on the issue of internet censorship and continue all efforts aimed at denouncing censorship by following legal means. Of course, we are also calling for the release of Slim and Yassin (if they are not freed before three o’clock on Saturday 22 May), free of any legal prosecution, since they upheld all legal procedures as mentioned earlier.

    On May 22, Tunisians living abroad took to the street in front of their country’s embassies and consulates in Paris, Bonn and New York. In Tunis, dozens of young Tunisians have managed to converge on Avenue Habib Bourguiba and took part in the protest. And even if the presence of uniformed and plain-clothes police barring access to the flash mob site and making it impossible for an important number of sympathizers – easily recognizable by their white T-shirts – to join the protest or remain seated in the café terraces, Tunisia’s first flashmob protesting online censorship was a successful story that should inspire us all.

    #manif22mai - Avenue Habib Bourguib, Tunis, May 22, 2010 - photo by Houeida Anouar

    #manif22mai - Avenue Habib Bourguib, Tunis, May 22, 2010 - This girl has been arrested the same day, no news about her whereabouts- photo by Houeida Anouar

    #manif22mai - Montreal, May 22, 2010 - photo by Haroun Bouazzi

    #manif22mai - Paris, in front of the Tunisian consulate, May 22, 2010 - photo by Nhar 3la 3ammar

  • sami ben gharbia 1:52 am on September 22, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: activism, , , , , ,   

    404 الكاذبة 

    شاهد ااشريط

    small logo gold Arabic

    عشرون يوما مر على حجب موقع دايلي موسيون لتقاسم الأفلام دون أن تعطي سلطة الإشراف أي مبرر قانوني لهذا القيد الجديد الذي ضربته على حرية الوصول إلى المعلومة. سلطة الإشراف هذه التي ترعى تسيير شؤون الحجب بتفانى قل ما وجدناه في قطاعات الوظيفة العمومية الأخرى – ما عدى الأمن طبعا- لم تتحمل يوما مسؤولية حجب المواقع و لم تقدم يوما أي توضيح عن أسبابه و لا عن المعايير التي تتبعها في إدارة تدفق المعلومات.

    و في الوقت الذي تتجه فيه كل أصابع الإتهام إلى الوكالة التونسية للأنترنت على أنها الجهة الرسمية المسؤولة عن “تطعيم” و “تنظيم” و “تطهير” شبكة الأنترنت في تونس، تستمر عملية حجب المواقع غير المرغوب فيها، أكانت مواقع إخبارية أو مواقع للمعارضة السياسية و منظمات حقوق الإنسان و حتى عدد من المدونات الشخصية. و الغريب في الأمر أن تمتد يد النظام التونسي الذي يتشدق ليلا نهارا بإرساء دولة القانون و المؤسسات و التعددية إلى حجب مواقع الأحزاب الشرعية و المعترف بها كموقع الحزب الديمقراطي التقدمي و موقع التكتل الديمقراطي من أجل العمل و الحريات.

    الوكالة التونسية للأنترنت التي تكونت سنة 1996 تخضع، رسميا، لسلطة إشراف وزارة تكنولوجيات الاتصال إلا أنها تعمل تحت إمرة وزارة الداخلية و كأنها شرطة مرور تحرم من تشاء و متى تشاء من حق “التنقل” و حق الدخول و الخروج إلى مجال حيوي أحكمت قبضتها عليه في ظل غياب صارخ للقانون و الشفافية. إذ تتسم سياسة حجب المواقع في تونس بحالة الإنكار (State of denial) التي تمثلها صفحة ال 404 و التي تظهر لمتصفحي الأنترنت في تونس كلما أرادوا الدخول إلى موقع محجوب.

    صفحة 404 التونسية هي عبارة عن نسخة رديئة من صفحة 404 التي يستعملها متصفح الأكسبلورر. أما الشيء الذي “تتفوق” به ال404 التونسية على ال404 الأصل فيتمثل في قدرتها على الظهور حتى على متصفح فايرفوكس و أوبرا و حتى متصفح سافاري الخاص بأنظمة الماكنتوش.

    ما يميز ال404 التونسية أنها كاذبة و خادعة ككذب “جمهورية الغد” و خداع ديمقراطية السابع من نوفمبر و “المعجزة” الإقتصادية للنموذج التونسي، فعلى عكس البلدان التي لها سياسة حجب أقل ما يـُقال عنها أنها شفافة، أساس ال404 التونسية هو الضحك على الذقون والإستخفاف بعقول المواطنين و هربا إلى الأمام في فن أتقنه نظام السابع من نوفمبر وبنى عليه صرحه و هو “حالة الإنكار”.

    فعلاوة على أن صفحة ال404 التونسية كاذبة، إذ تـُخفي ورائها الصفحة الحقيقية و هي رقم 403 و التي تعني أن الزائر ممنوع من دخول الصفحة، فهي كما قلنا تنكر واقع الرقابة و الحجب التي تمارسها. و هذا على عكس صفحات الحجب التي نراها في بلدان كالسعودية و قطر و السودان و اليمن و إيران و الإمارات العربية المتحدة حيث تُعلم الزائر بأن الموقع الذي يحاول الوصول إليه قد تم حجبه من قبل السلطة المعنية. و إضافة إلى ذكر سبب الحجب و حتى الحكم القضائي الذي تم بمقتضاه حجب الموقع كما تفعل تركيا، يتم وضع البريد الألكتروني و يـُطلب من الزائر الإتصال به إذا كان ضد قرار الحجب.

    لهذا كله يـُُعتبر إنجاز ال404 التونسية مفخرة من مفاخر تغيير السابع من نوفمبر.

    إضغط على الصور للتكبير، ثم تصفح بقية الصور بالضغط على يمين أو على شمال الصور الكبيرة

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