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Internet in Yemen

Internet Cafe in Sana'a

Use of the Internet in Yemen began in 1996[1] through the ISPs TeleYemen and the Public Telecommunications Corporation.[2][3]


  • Growth 1
  • Filtering 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


Rapid development of the telecommunications and information technology sectors in Yemen occurred from 2000 to 2005. The extent of investments in infrastructure development of telecom and IT systems came to more than YR 80 billion, in addition to loans of $31 million by the South Korean government. The number of Internet users was 3,597,097 in 2011 up from 110,000 in 2006, and 3,800 in 1991. This represents 14.9% of Yemen's 2011 population.[4] The number of subscribers to cellular telephone networks came to 11.7 million in 2011, up from 1.2 million in early 2006, and 153,000 in 1991.[5]

There has been a huge demand for faster Internet connections in Yemen, and that pushed the two ISPs, TeleYemen, operators of the service YNET, and YemenNet, through the state's powerful Ministry of Telecommunications, to introduce ADSL and ISDN connections. Also, the E-government project that started to give the citizens the ability to access web services and finalize G2C transactions in 2000 increased the number of Internet users dramatically. But still the quality of speed is not that up to the mark. There were 84,000 fixed broadband subscriptions in 2010.[6]


Internet censorship and surveillance by country[7][8][9]

Yemen is listed as engaged in pervasive Internet filtering in the social area, substantial filtering in the political and Internet tools areas, and selective filtering in the conflict/security area in a report by the OpenNet Initiative in October 2012.[7]

Yemen was included in Reporters Without Borders list of countries "under surveillance" in 2008 and 2009, but not in 2010 or 2011.[9]

Yemen censors pornography, nudity, gay and lesbian content, escort and dating services, sites displaying provocative attire, Web sites which present critical reviews of Islam and/or attempt to convert Muslims to other religions, or content related to alcohol, gambling, and drugs.[10]

Yemen’s Ministry of Information declared in April 2008 that the penal code will be used to prosecute writers who publish Internet content that "incites hatred" or "harms national interests".[11] Yemen's two ISPs, YemenNet and TeleYemen, block access to gambling, adult, sex education, and some religious content.[12] The ISP TeleYemen (aka Y.Net) prohibits "sending any message which is offensive on moral, religious, communal, or political grounds" and will report "any use or attempted use of the Y.Net service which contravenes any applicable Law of the Republic of Yemen". TeleYemen reserves the right to control access to data stored in its system “in any manner deemed appropriate by TeleYemen.”[13]

In Yemen closed rooms or curtains that might obstruct views of the monitors are not allowed in Internet cafés, computer screens in Internet cafés must be visible to the floor supervisor, police have ordered some Internet cafés to close at midnight, and demanded that users show their identification cards to the café operator.[14]

On March 2015, Ministry of Yemen denied any plans to block facebook after the last control by Houthis,[15] though it has become apparent that the government applied bandwidth control filter to facebook website in particular.

See also


  1. ^ "Yemen: All Roads Lead Backwards". The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information. Retrieved 2006-08-02. 
  2. ^ Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2011, International Telecommunication Union, accessed on 19 August 2012.
  3. ^ Al-Zurqa, Ahmed (2005-12-02). "Internet Usage Surveys in Yemen".  
  4. ^ "Doing Business In Yemen: A Country Commercial Guide for U.S. Companies - Chapter 4" (PDF). Embassy of the Republic of Yemen. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  5. ^ "Yemen", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, retrieved 16 February 2013
  6. ^ Fixed broadband subscriptions, International Telecommunication Union. Accessed on 8 April 2012.
  7. ^ a b OpenNet Initiative "Summarized global Internet filtering data spreadsheet", 29 October 2012 and "Country Profiles", the OpenNet Initiative is a collaborative partnership of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto; the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University; and the SecDev Group, Ottawa
  8. ^ "Internet Enemies", Enemies of the Internet 2014: Entities at the heart of censorship and surveillance, Reporters Without Borders (Paris), 11 March 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  9. ^ a b Internet Enemies, Reporters Without Borders (Paris), 12 March 2012
  10. ^ "ONI Country Profile: Yemen", OpenNet Initiative, August 2009
  11. ^ " (Online journalism is subject to the penal code: Lawzi, Yemeni Minister of Information)"Lawzi: Ma Yonshar fi Sahafat Al Internet Lan Yakon Ba'eedan A'n Al Mosa'ala bimojib Qanoon Al Oqobat", Saba, 3 February 2008
  12. ^ "ONI: Internet Filtering Map" (Flash). Open Net Initiative. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  13. ^ “Terms and conditions for Y.Net Service”, TeleYemen
  14. ^ "Search for Pornographic Material on Rise; Children are most Vulnerable", Moneer Al-Omari, Yemen Post, 12 January 2009
  15. ^ Yemen explains facts about blocking some social networks (Arabic media news)
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