Tunisia might be a fledgling democracy after President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali stepped down in January following mass demonstrations and riots, but the country is still trying to find a balance between the power of modern technology and traditional values. According to Tunisian media, a court has ordered the Tunisian Internet Agency to block access too all sites with pornographic and adult content, following a lawsuit that argued the sites were contrary to Muslim values and posed a danger to Tunisian youth.
Under the previous regime, Tunisia operated an extensive Internet censorship program that blocked access to many sites and services. That censorship ended with the overthrow of the regime in January. However, if the current court order is upheld, it will mark the second time Tunisia has enacted Internet censorship since January. Earlier this month, a military tribunal also ordered the Tunisian Internet Agency to block access to specific sites and Facebook profiles.
The majority of Internet traffic in Tunisia is handled by a single ISP, providing a single control point at which URLs and other specific resources can be blocked.
According Tunisian Business News, seven of the top 100 sites visited by Tunisians since January are pornographic sites.
After January’s “Jasmine Revolution,” noted Tunisian blogger Slim Amamou had been named junior minister for youth in the country’s new interim government; however, he resigned this week, criticizing the country’s Internet censorship.
[Image: US Army Africa]