Promoting Digital Security in Tunisia at the World Social Forum


Fifty thousand activists from 5,000 NGOs around the world attended the World Social Forum in Tunis last week to press for change on a wide variety of issues. Access joined our partners Reporters Sans Frontieres, DSS 216, and C Libre to host a tent and support digital rights. Over the course of three days, we offered a free digital security clinic, gave trainings on select topics, and held debates on cutting-edge issues such as Net Neutrality and open source technology. Visitors from countries as far afield as Myanmar, Cote d’Ivoire, Algeria, Germany, Morocco, and France stopped by the tent to engage with staff and the community. They learned about encryption tools and how to use social media more safely, among other skills.

“We were able to promote a culture of digital security because the World Social Forum is visited by grassroots activists working directly in the field,” said Mohamed Chennoufi, Security Incident Shift Lead at Access. “They don’t always think about digital protection. That’s why it’s important to introduce concepts that can help not only them, but their partners and other users at risk.”

The event passed without incident, despite fears invoked by a deadly attack earlier in March on the Bardo Museum, Tunis’ most renowned museum of antiquities. Participants at the forum marched against terrorism and sang songs in a lively atmosphere in the face of blustery Spring weather.

Next week, Access will participate in Hack Zone and 404 Rights, separate events at leading universities in Tunis.

photo by Hassen Selmi