What Are the Biggest Threats to Cyber Activism?

Many governments in MENA have enacted cybercrime laws to curtail freedom of expression online, restrict access to information and control cyberspace. The Egyptian government is no exception. 

In an interview carried out in January 2019, Ahmad Gharbeia, an information activist from Egypt, draws attention to the dictatorial control of electronic material across virtual spaces and the never-ending battle between the government and cyber activists. As he explains, while technical solutions to the problems of censorship and blocked communications will always exist, it is also necessary to raise awareness among individuals of their rights to free speech and assembly.

This video is part of a series of short videos by MENA youth activists, telling the stories of how they have sought to challenge in innovative and persistent ways “politics as usual” in order to bring about meaningful change. Click here to access all videos.

These videos are part of a wider project by ARI on Arab Youth as Political Actor, that explored how youth as political actors have been practising new forms of politics since 2011. It looked at how young women and men activists do politics differently, how they build or create agency even in highly restrictive contexts, and the generational gap they perceive in their understanding of “politics” and their action and methods to achieve change on the ground.