Morocco has a “Below Average” PPI rating, making it a less than ideal location for a VPN server. The country has a concerning history of internet censorship, surveillance, and restrictions on online content that raises serious concerns about privacy and freedom of expression.
Morocco passed an anti-terrorism law in 2003 that gave the government broad surveillance powers, including monitoring internet and telecommunications traffic. This law has been criticized by human rights groups as enabling overly broad government surveillance with little oversight or accountability. Morocco’s main internet service provider, Maroc Telecom, filters and blocks access to some critical political content and independent media sites. The government also monitors social media and prosecutes individuals for speech deemed critical of the government or Islam.
In 2016, a human rights activist filed a legal complaint in Morocco after his personal emails and Skype calls were published online by a pro-government website, showing signs of government hacking and surveillance. The case highlighted the lack of privacy online in Morocco and the threat of targeted government surveillance. Morocco has purchased sophisticated spyware enabling remote monitoring and extraction of information from targeted computers and mobile phones, according to a Citizen Lab report.
Additionally, Morocco passed laws like the 2016 Press and Publications Code, which includes provisions for criminalizing certain online activities, like defamation. This legislation can be used to target individuals who use VPNs for activities deemed illegal by the Moroccan government. Morocco has no strong laws protecting individual privacy, including online privacy and data protection laws. Legislation around privacy, surveillance, and interception of communications is sparse.
Given Morocco’s “Below Average” PPI rating and the concerns surrounding internet censorship and surveillance, it is advisable to seek an alternative location for a VPN server. One geographically close option would be Spain, which has an “Above Average” PPI rating. Spain has less restrictive internet policies, a more robust framework for data protection, and no mandatory data retention laws for ISPs. Although Spain has implemented some anti-piracy measures in recent years, it remains a more favorable location for a VPN server compared to Morocco. In conclusion, Morocco’s less than ideal PPI rating and potential risks for users make it an unsuitable choice for a VPN server, and nearby Spain would be a better alternative that balances privacy and latency.
VPN servers in Morocco:
- Morocco: Crackdown on social media critics. Human Rights Watch. (2020, October 28). https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/02/05/morocco-crackdown-social-media-critics
- Hajjaji, D. (2019, July 1). Moroccan independent journalists describe climate of pervasive surveillance, harassment. Committee to Protect Journalists. https://cpj.org/2019/07/moroccan-independent-journalists-describe-climate/
- Morocco: Freedom on the net 2022 country report. Freedom House. (n.d.). https://freedomhouse.org/country/morocco/freedom-net/2022