Policy Study

31 May 2022

Digital Surveillance, Master Key for MENA Autocrats

In his article entitled Digital Surveillance, Master Key for MENA Autocrats published as part of a joint political study Liberty’s Doom? Artificial Intelligence in Middle Eastern Security by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, Žilvinas Švedkauskas, Bucerius Ph.D. Fellow, examines how the uptake of AI-enabled technologies has boosted digital surveillance, including machine learning for clustering, speech recognition, natural language processing, image and video generation and autonomous decision-making.

'The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled technologies has revolutionised surveillance in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. A decade after the Arab uprisings, the question as to how new technological breakthroughs in AI will transform these information operations in the coming years is quickly gaining relevance as authoritarian regimes in the MENA region have consolidated power domestically and seek to expand their influence abroad.'