Internet censorship in the Middle East and North African is increasing, according to the latest report from the OpenNet Initiative:
Testing has revealed political filtering to be the common denominator across the region; however, social filtering is on the rise. Many Arab countries have begun blocking explicit and morally objectionable content in the Arabic language that was previously accessible. While many regimes are transparent about social filtering, most continue to disguise political filtering practices by attempting to confuse users with different error messages.
Among the Arab countries, Bahrain, Syria and Tunisia “have the strictest political filtering practices”, while Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and the West Bank do not currently filter any content.
However, even where there is no filtering governments try in other ways to regulate internet use:
Some Internet café operators in Lebanon, for example, have admitted to using surveillance software to monitor browsing habits of clients under the pretext of protecting security or preventing them from accessing pornography. Egypt has monitoring measures in place that require Internet café users to provide their names, email addresses, and phone numbers before using the Internet. Algeria holds ISPs legally responsible for sites they host.