Mideast Bahrain Gulf Cyber Squeeze

January 9, 2013 - 1:32 PM
In this Dec. 17, 2012 photo, Bahraini human rights activist Yousef al-Muhafedha, center, speaks to riot police during a protest in Manama, Bahrain. If the Arab Spring uprisings represented the coming of age for social media activism in the Middle East, then the Gulf Arab rulers who have ridden out the upheavals appear to be mounting their own counter revolution. Dozens of bloggers, online activists and even a poet in Qatar have been detained or prosecuted across the Western-allied Gulf in recent months as part of widening crackdowns on perceived cyber-dissent. The escalating pressures have brought widespread denunciations from free-speech groups and others, but also could become an increasing point of friction with the U.S. and other Western backers in the Gulf. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)