2016-05-02

Thank You for The 2016 Bobs Award - Best of Online Activism

I am honored to be the recipient of The 2016 Bobs Award - Best of Online Activism in the Tech for Good category, which is organized by Deutsche Welle. The award is by Netizens vote, and is for my work in supporting individuals and institutions in the field of digital security and privacy. I got 9902 votes and its the highest votes in all categories of the award. This would not have been possible without your support and votes. I would like to express my immense gratitude for everyone's support. This includes people and organizations from Egypt, Lebanon, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Tunisia, Palestine, Morocco and elsewhere. 

For me the significance of the award this year is it sheds the light on the importance of our right to privacy in the light of the authorities’ efforts and security surveillance practices to breach our privacy that shake our lives and present high negative impact on our ability to communicate, express, organize, and seek knowledge. We shouldn't normalize surveillance practices on both our private communications and information and also on our public speech – many fellows and people are in detentions and prisons solely for their views and thoughts. We shouldn't be afraid to voice our opinions, and no one should be denied his or her freedom for an idea no matter how different we are. No one should determine our boundaries and limitations. And we don’t need to agree with people to defend their rights. All around us, university students get imprisoned, lawyers receive arrest warrants, journalists are summoned and threatened, media personnel shows are canceled and private calls aired on live TV, academics are denied access to pursue their work, actors denied the right to practice their art, novelists jailed, politicians jailed and meetings recorded, human rights NGOs and practitioners sued, activists and researchers banned from traveling, people stopped in the streets to arbitrary inspect their phones. Our right to privacy in all domains is crucial for a democratic life and social change. Our struggle to change laws within the security and telecommunication sector is draining but indeed possible. Maintaining privacy in the digital medium is very possible. From my work and collaboration with different groups I realize that change is possible, thanks of course to free and open source encryption techies and communities. The right to privacy is a core right, an enabler to our liberties regardless of the domain and regardless of who we are and what we do. Once again, I appreciate all your support. Thank you :)

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