Internet governance and digital rights in Libya

More than nine years after the revolution broke out in 2011 and the political conflict in Libya continues, the question of ensuring the digital rights of Libyans remains on the sidelines. Democratic Transition and Human Rights Support Center (DAAM) and Access Now present a report detailing the technical and legislative vacuum in the Internet sector, its results on the digital space and the rights of Internet users in Libya.

The report highlights the weak legislative framework of internet governance, weak internet governance institutions and the attempts to control them from various political parties, which has paved the way for these institutions to impose systematic control over the digital space without effective oversight or accountability by the judiciary.

The report also documents factual examples of the most prominent repressive policies and practices of digital rights, which are often practiced against human rights activists, as well as political opponents, journalists, lawyers and Internet users. Dima Samaru, Middle East and North Africa policy analyst at Access Now, said: “The continued tightening of the digital space and the restrictions on opponents and human rights defenders have created self-censorship on the Internet and created a state of fear, especially in the absence of any real guarantees to protect their fundamental rights and freedoms.”

“Digital reality has become an alternative space for young people, but problems related to poor internet service quality, as well as the legislative vacuum in the Internet sector, remain an obstacle to its development, allowing the creation of space for access, expression, communication and participation,” said Khalil Arbi, head of the Studies and Research Unit at DAAM center.  Based on interviews with young activists, the report monitored a social movement that relied on digital space to produce an important cultural alternative in the midst of a dominant political conflict.

The report noted that the issue of poor infrastructure and internet outages, often the result of widespread violence and sabotage, as well as the continued power outage in Libya, continue to be an obstacle to internet access and the building of a free digital space capable of absorbing the values of freedom of expression and promoting the principle of participation and communication among Internet users.
In conclusion, the report also presents the most important ways to strengthen the legal and institutional governance of the Internet, as well as a number of practical recommendations to the official institutions in order to launch a serious reform and construction of the Internet sector that promotes the values of freedom and democracy in Libya.

اكسس ناو - Acccess Now

مركز دعم التحول الديمقراطي وحقوق الانسان (دعم -DAAM)

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