.the “Arab Spring” and a series of global popular movements has resulted in crackdowns on expression, showing just how terrified governments have become of the voice accorded their citizens via the internet.
And indeed, they have: Nearly halfway through 2012, online repression remains on the rise. In post-dictatorship Tunisia and Egypt, the face of the threats may have changed, but their implications remain all too real. Social media users still run the risk of blasphemy charges in the former, while in the latter, military detentions continue. In the Gulf countries - where authorities fight to maintain stability in a rapidly changing region - bloggers are detained in increasing numbers, while new regulations are debated, such as Kuwait’s proposed death sentence for insulting the prophet. Elsewhere, new systems are being put into place to filter and surveil citizens, such as one recently discovered in Ethiopia.