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Internet censorship in Morocco was listed as selective in the social, conflict/security, and Internet tools areas and as no evidence in the political area by the OpenNet Initiative (ONI) in August 2009. Freedom House listed Morocco's "Internet Freedom Status" as "Partly Free" in its 2013 Freedom on the Net report.
In its Freedom on the Net 2013, Freedom House reports that between May 2012 and April 2013:
In 2009 Internet access in Morocco was, for the most part, open and unrestricted. Morocco’s Internet filtration regime was relatively light and focused on a few blog sites, a few highly visible anonymizers, and for a brief period in May 2007, the video sharing Web site YouTube. Testing by the OpenNet Initiative revealed that Morocco no longer filters a majority of sites in favor of independence of the Western Sahara, which were previously blocked. The filtration regime is not comprehensive, that is to say, similar content can be found on other Web sites that are not blocked. On the other hand, Morocco has started to prosecute Internet users and bloggers for their online activities and writings.
As there have been no judiciary decisions one can only speculate about the reasons sites are blocked. However, some patterns emerge and it seems that the blocked sites are often related to the Polisario movement claiming independence of Western Sahara, to Islamist extremists and fundamentalists, to carrying non-official or subversive information about King Mohammed VI such as parodic videos in YouTube. Morocco also blocked some sites that facilitate circumvention of Internet censorship.
There have been reports that Google Earth, Skype, and YouTube have been intermittently blocked in Morocco since at least 2006, but they were all found to be accessible in tests conducted in mid-2013. Since, the blocking is not systematic and consistent in time and region, it is difficult to be sure of a particular site's status and Morocco's main ISP denies that they knowingly block these services, citing technical glitches.
When videos judged offensive to the king were posted on YouTube, Maroc Telecom decided to ban the site, without basing its act on a judiciary decision. This led to an immense uproar among the Moroccan blogosphere (also called Blogoma or Blogma) and Moroccan internauts as well as the printed press, as the site was immensely popular. Some days later Maroc Telecom lifted the ban. The public reaction was one of the founding events of the consciousness and the fight against Internet censorship in Morocco.
An anonymous person calling himself the "Targuist Sniper" from Targuist, a small Berber town in northern Morocco, posted several videos of good quality on YouTube showing Moroccan police officers, one after another, accepting cash bribes from truck drivers and potential smugglers. The videos generated wide debate on the press and discussions on the Internet, but they were never mentioned in the state media. Many were seeing them as a new way of cyberactivism by fighting the widespread corruption in the government institutions.
The videos led to the arrest of nine corrupt policemen and the transfer of others.
Fouad Mourtada is a 26-year-old Moroccan engineer who was sentenced by a Casablanca court to three years in prison for creating a fake profile of the king’s brother on Facebook. He was convicted on February 23, 2008 of “villainous practices linked to the alleged theft" of the Crown Prince Moulay Rachid's identity. Fouad was sentenced to 3 years of jail plus a fine of 10,000 Moroccan Dirhams. But on the evening of 18 March 2008, Fouad was released by a royal pardon after spending 43 days in jail.
Independent media platform Lakome.com was blocked in Morocco starting from 17 October 2013. The editor of its Arabic version Ali Anouzla, has been held in pre-trial detention since 17 September 2013. The site administrators migrated the French version to another domain—Lakome.info and lako.me—which was briefly accessible on 18 October, but was later blocked. Due to over-blocking, some popular websites using cloud hosting such as Heroku, Pinterest and Instagram were also briefly blocked.The block reportedly impacted only Rabat.
On 22 October Reporters without Borders mirrored the censored website on its domain name (Lakome.RSF.org). Additionally it addressed a message to France's Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius, asking him to mention the case of Anouzla in his meeting with his Moroccan counterpart.