The Arab Spring has not held back the Middle-Eastern countries to act against the freedom of their own citizens. Before the revolutionary movements in August, Saudi Arabia decided to ban Blackberry services for internet and instant messaging because they were concerned that such communications are encrypted and cannot be monitored. After their shocking decision, The United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, India and Algeria raised concerns on it. Although the argument was based on fighting criminal activity, these countries were banning “ (…) the legitimate right of free use and access” as Hillary Clinton stated at the time. But the freedom of speech, privacy and use of communication ideology has not changed for most of the countries.
Following the Blackberry banning, Saudi Arabia opposed to several internet domain names as “gay, tattoo, wine, vodka, poker and africamagic” because of its offensive implications to some cultures. Tattoo is against the practice of Islam, while wine and vodka may result in increased consumption of alcohol and africamagic implies black magic that is considered offensive. People are disappointed with the country because it already prevents approximately 1.9 million homosexuals from visiting the supporting community websites, too. Therefore, they are against the government action on banning the internet sites ending .gay.
On 25th March 2013 Viber, Skype and WhatsApp were warned like Blackberry was by the Saudi Arabian government because of the fact that the government was not able to access their encrypted messages. Saudi newspapers have reported that the companies behind the applications have been given a week to respond. Beyond their right to freedom of speech rights, Saudis are more concerned about their privacy. For example a Saudi user told that she would be uncomfortable talking to her relative without her headscarf on Skype if someone is watching her. People are planning for new ways to communicate in case the government bans the applications.
While Saudis are dealing with freedom and its application areas, the Islamist group who governs Hamas is passing a new law to strengthen their Islamic traditions. On April 1st 2013 they are trying to legalize a new law that bans children older than 9 from studying in co-ed schools.
There are continuing traditional and cultural legislation that nations have which make it impossible to stop the process. If the countries continue to challenge the limits, will citizens rise again to gain their freedom of speech and rights? How far can the countries account their Islamic traditions for their own monitoring methods? Who will be the organization, if they need one? It is worrisome to think that people are tired and weary enough to concede to the new laws. Maybe only after people cannot find a way out from the system, there will be a need for an uprising or the help of UN to change the situation before it comes to a boiling point.