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Last week, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a 92-page survey report on the status of the Internet in the Middle East and North Africa. The report reveals that Internet use in the region is steadily increasing despite factors inhibiting Internet growth such as censorship, access restrictions, and high connection costs. The report surveys the Internet information policies of the region's governments and examines how these policies promote or violate the right to freedom of expression. The HRW survey and critique is supplemented by a set of policy guidelines which are intended to protect the rights to privacy, association, and online expression. In addition, official governmental responses to the report are appended for the countries of Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Tunisia, and Yemen. This report was researched and written by Eric Goldstein, HRW's deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa division.
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