Tunisia: Background paper on Internet regulation

Between February 2012 and February 2013, ARTICLE 19 analysed the state of Internet freedom in Tunisia. In particular, the compatibility of the Tunisian legal framework governing the Internet against international and comparative standards for the protection of freedom of expression and the right to privacy.

The analysis shows that the case for reform in this area is overwhelming. Indeed, the restrictions imposed on Internet usage have certainly gone backwards due to the deactivation of censoring mechanisms and the inability of the governing body exercising control over the Internet. Nevertheless, the repressive legislative and regulatory system prior to 14 January 2011, put in place by the dictatorship, is still active. It has not undergone any significant changes to guarantee freedom of speech on the Internet in an effective, sustainable and irreversible manner.

ARTICLE 19 expresses in this report its grave concerns about the persistence of certain legislative and regulatory provisions that restrict freedom of speech on the Internet.