A recent Reddit interview with an anonymous Internet censor from an unnamed Middle Eastern country offers a surprisingly candid look behind the scenes of Internet censorship and monitoring in the Middle East. Below is an excerpt from the conversation, which covers a wide range of online censorship topics, including filtration, circumvention, and the power dynamics at play behind filtering regimes:
“When I started, I was on the technical side of things. More implementer than decision-maker. Not only was it easier to do, but easier to justify. Now, I try to do my bit and play the devil’s advocate more often than not. This has raised a few eyebrows, but I like to think that I’m too valuable to be let off easily. However, a phone call from anyone in the Royal family…..”
While the identity of the self-proclaimed censor is (as of yet) unverified and unknown, the information provided during the interview seems plausible, considering the Middle East is well known for its strict policies on Internet control. Hopefully more individuals with inside knowledge of information chokepoints will similarly share insights into the workings of such regimes.