Tunisia: Anonymous Warns Against Creeping Renewal of Internet Censorship


A Tunisian group claiming to be affiliated with Anonymous - the international cyber-activist collective- has announced a new operation called "Stop AMAR 404â-' against recent measures to enhance internet security.

Government official's concerns about the security of the websites of Tunisian Interim Government ministries have increased, especially after recent cyber-attacks targeting the Tunisian Prime Minister's email account and the official website of the Ministry of Justice.

The government's budget for 2012, presented by Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali to the Constituent Assembly on April 5th, focused on improving internet security by including funding for hiring new experts at the Ministry of the Interior.

Anonymous called for a protest on Avenue Habib Bourguiba on May 1st, against what they called, "internet censorship."

The government's decision to hire new internet security experts at the Ministry of Interior has alarmed Anonymous activists. "The decision threatens internet freedom, it will monitor all actions on the internet, emails, social networks, searches, absolutely everything. It will give full powers to the government to have a totalitarian control over your confidential information online. The (internet) commission will probably recognize you more than your friends and family. The commission says their aim is to formally protect against cyber crime at a national level. But the term "cyber crime" is deliberately vague. It may refer to protections for the government, its scandals, leaks and similar cases. The government has the same reasons to censor as Ben Ali. It will be basically used to hunt you down if you criticize, especially Ennahda," anonymous announced.

According to a video released by anonymous, people must mobilize against internet censorship in the planned May day rallies to oppose "internet censorship, the restriction of freedom of expression, the monitoring of all online activities" and to protest against the "loss of freedoms and civil rights and the possible loss of internet connections for those who violate the new rules."