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Is the internet a threat for political stability in the Arab world ?

Since people in the Arab world manifested their massive desire for political change and more access to social and economic freedom and rights. The Arab revolution has arguably demonstrated the internet's ability to drive democratic change. As tech-savvy youngsters in Tunisia and Egypt pushed aside their ageing despots, the surprising criticism are hurrying to not only include online activism in the mainstream of the political and social transformation in the Arab world but a calls for push for more intellectual and civil society dissent is more than needed. In Syria, the use of Technology did not Guarantee Revolution.

The Syrian government claimed that terrorists had cut the Internet cables connecting the country to the outside world. But this is extremely unlikely for two reasons. First, because four different sets of cables link Syria's Web to the broader world, three of them running underwater and a fourth overland into Turkey. For rebels to reach all four, much less cut them all at the exact same moment, seems implausible.

The second reason this seems unlikely is that Internet service came back online in only 48 hours, suspiciously quickly if the issue was cut cables. In Tunisia a number of political activists and analysts are on the opinion that the use of Internet does not have any direct correlation to the spread of democracy. The mere presence of technology or Internet connectivity in a country does not open up gateways to democracy.

For example, Poverty in Tunisia is a great impediment, where the regions that are badly connected to internet are the richest in the terms of national resources. When it comes to access to such technological tools that may promote democratic thought. Young activists, also believes that the Internet is an excellent tool to facilitate repression too. Democratic thought is fostered through the Internet only when specific conducive conditions exist in a nation. In India, Social Media played a major role in garnering anti-corruption revolutionists and supporters through 2011. Despite the great success of the movement on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and having many thousands of blogs written in support, the revolution itself was deemed a failure due to the lack of legislations to eliminate corruption in the country.

Similarly, an anti-rape and women’s protection revolution advocating a series of women’s safety legislations took off on Social Media in December 2012 and raged through early 2013. The legislation that was passed, however, was deemed a failure according to a UN specialist team. Many countries in the MENA region, including, Algeria, Turkey, Pakistan, Iran and Syria censor or restrict access to the Internet. Their citizens are unable to use the freedom of expression the Internet provides.

Others drew more pessimistic conclusions. The internet suspension in Egypt and elsewhere proved how easily governments can pull the plug, and led observers in many rich countries to consider the vulnerability of their own internet access. If some Egyptians used loopholes to spread news within and outside the country, in China authorities confirmed their complete mastery over internet discourse by ensuring that searches for "Egypt" returned no results.

Civil society activists and tech-experts in the Arab Word need to think about a constructive debate that matters for their governments who have confirmed their belief that the internet promotes democracy, some more explicitly than others. Like many activists and campaign groups, authorities in democratic countries are working ever harder in Tunisia to spread web access (and "internet freedom") by taking part of the new governance initiative in 2011.

The rise of violent extremist organizations in Tunisia since the January 2011 revolution most notably Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia (AAS-T) has posed serious security challenges to a post-revolutionary government previously inexperienced in counterterrorism operations. The assassination of two opposition politicians in February and July, as well as the attack on the U.S. Embassy and the American Community School in Tunis in September 2012, demonstrated the extent of the terrorist threat.

The Tunisian government continued to face challenges that included the potential for terrorist attacks, in the current legislative and presidential elections five Tunisian soldiers have been killed by terrorist militants groups because of the influx of arms and violent extremists from across the Algerian and Libyan borders, and the use of improvised explosive devices. The disproportionate numbers of Tunisians among those traveling to fight in Libya, Mali, and Syria and the ensuing return of these fighters is another cause for concern.

The internet has played a crucial role in spreading pro-democracy protests beyond national borders and across the wider Arab world. And he contests that if Arabic autocrats thought there was much to gain from exploiting their powers over the internet; they would have been more hesitant to pull the wires from the wall when crowds started amassing in their streets.

However Around the world, slightly fewer than 30% of people now have access to the internet. Compared with the speed of previous communications revolutions, that figure was reached at an incredible pace. And the fastest rates of internet adoption are to be found in Africa, South America and the Middle East, and often in countries with little or no history of democratic rule. We cannot be certain what effect this will have. But certainly we can aim to watch and respond with our eyes open to both the best, and the worst, of the web.

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