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Freedom House - Freedom of the Net Report 2016

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Key Developments:

  • Messaging app Telegram was blocked for several days in February in an effort to contain protests marking the fifth anniversary of Bahrain’s “Day of Rage” (see Restrictions on Connectivity).
  • 2Connect, a small mobile and internet service provider, had its licensed revoked by the regulator for failing to provide security agencies with a tool to access users’ data (see Regulatory Bodies).
  • Canadian company Netsweeper won a Bahraini government tender to implement a nationwide filtering system in a move that will boost the sophistication of internet censorship (see Blocking and Filtering).
  • Five users were sentenced one to five years in prison for tweets that were critical of Saudi Arabia, including outrage over the Saudi-led airstrike campaign in Yemen, the death of hundreds of pilgrims at the 2015 hajj, and the execution of prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. Numerous others were prosecuted for insulting Bahraini public officials (see Prosecutions and Detentions for Online Activities).

Read the full report here.

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