Internet Filtering in Tunisia in 2005

By: derek on 16 November 2005

The OpenNet Initiative is proud to announce the release of Internet Filtering in Tunisia in 2005, a country study that documents Tunisia's attempts to control Internet information, including the filtering of Web sites, blogs, and anonymizer services. You can access the study here.

Drawing on open sources and a detailed year-long technical investigation, ONI research describes Tunisia’s aggressive targeting and blocking of on-line content, including political opposition Web sites, human rights groups, and sites that provide access to privacy-enhancing technologies. ONI research reveals that Tunisia’s government Internet agency, ATI, uses SmartFilter -- filtering software produced by Secure Computing, a US-based company -- as the basis of its filtering regime. Since all of Tunisia’s ISPs operate through ATI, the system is difficult to circumvent. Moreover, Tunisia’s public policy on filtering is opaque at best. The state falsifies the information provided to users who try to reach filtered sites; the error page received claims the site is not accessible for technical reasons. In sum, Tunisia’s control over its citizens’ access to Internet content places it at odds with the goals of the World Summit on the Information Society.

For those who are attending or monitoring the World Summit on the Information Society, ONI members will discuss this new country study at a session, Expression Under Repression, led by Berkman Center for Internet & Society Fellows and bloggers Rebecca MacKinnon and Ethan Zuckerman.