The Freedom House concluded a two day workshop in Amman entitled “Pilot Index of Internet Freedom”.
My participation at this workshop as part of 20 experts from various backgrounds specialised on the internet and digital media; academic, NGO, blogger and activist to enrich the debate. Furthermore, the experts showed great interest on the topic and pointed out the significance of conducting reliable and credible survey on the freedom of the internet in the MENA States. The workshop was an important opportunity to gather experts from the region and open debate on the current state of Internet and digital media freedom in the MENA region.
The Freedom House hold this event in an effort to discuss the enabling environment for internet freedom in the BMENA region and highlight the vast range of issues that impact the freedom of expression in the digital scope.
During the workshop, Freedom House introduced the 2009 pilot index of the internet freedom that aimed to provide analytical report and numerical ratings for 15 countries in addition to offering a measure of each country’s level of internet and digital media freedom. Tunisia, Egypt and Iran were the three MENA countries chosen for the pilot survey conducted.
Freedom House Deputy Director of program Daniel Calingaert, highlighted that the aim of measuring the level of internet and digital media freedom worldwide is to identify obstacles and restrictions imposed on freedom of digital media in an effort to mobilize the concerned countries and stake holders to remove restrictions on Internet freedom and to advance freedom of expression based on Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impact information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers”.