Telecommunications in Western Sahara

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Telecommunications in Western Sahara include radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.

Morocco claims the Western Sahara territory and administers Moroccan law through Moroccan institutions in the estimated 85 percent of the territory it controls. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro (Polisario), an organization that has sought independence for the former Spanish territory since 1973, disputes Morocco’s claim to sovereignty over the territory.[1] Because of this long running dispute, many traditional telecommunication statistics are not reported separately for the Western Sahara.[2]

Radio and television[edit]



Internet censorship and surveillance[edit]

There is no indication that Internet access in the territory differs from that in internationally recognized Morocco, which was generally open.[1] Morocco was listed as engaged in selective Internet filtering in the social, conflict/security, and Internet tools areas and as little or no evidence of filtering in the political area by the OpenNet Initiative (ONI) in August 2009.[13] Freedom House listed Morocco's "Internet Freedom Status" as "Partly Free" in its 2013 Freedom on the Net report.[14]

Morocco considers the part of the territory that it administers to be an integral component of the kingdom with the same laws and structures regarding civil liberties, political and economic rights. Moroccan law prohibits citizens from criticizing Islam or the institution of the monarchy or to oppose the government’s official position regarding territorial integrity and Western Sahara. Saharan media outlets and bloggers practice self-censorship on these issues, and there are no reports of government action against them for what they write. Human rights and Sahrawi bloggers affiliated with leftist political groups assume that authorities closely monitor their activities and feel the need to hide their identities.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Western Sahara", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State, 17 April 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  2. ^ "For better or for worse, Western Sahara’s Internet future is with Morocco", oAfrica, 30 May 2010, updated January 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Communications: Western Sahara", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 10 January 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  4. ^ S04R: Braving the Blazing Sands
  5. ^ Table of International Call Sign Series (Appendix 42 to the RR)
  6. ^ "Country Comparison: Telephones - Mobile Cellular", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  7. ^ Preliminary Report for Special Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors ICANN, October 16, 2007
  8. ^ "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2012", International Telecommunications Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
  9. ^ "Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  10. ^ "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Internet hosts", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  12. ^ Select Formats Archived 2009-05-13 at the Wayback Machine, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
  13. ^ "ONI Country Profile: Morocco", OpenNet Initiative, 6 August 2009
  14. ^ "Morocco country report", Freedom on the Net 2013, Freedom House. Retrieved 19 October 2013.

External links[edit]

  • SNRT (in Arabic), web site of the public broadcaster of Morocco.