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Conservative cultural and religious forces in many parts of the Arab world were extremely apprehensive about the potential impact of the internet in their societies. In this part of the interview Professor Davis addresses the manifestation of those concerns in Morocco and the manner in which these were dealt with. Surveys conducted before Internet use became fairly widespread found both great excitement about the information the Internet would make available, but trepidation about access to materials such as pornography that are inconsistent with the cultural values of the majority of Moroccans. By the late 1990s and the beginning of this century, the concern has, in fact, expanded once people actually came face to face with what was available. On the other hand, there has been and continues to be a great deal of excitement about the access to information the Internet brings, such as the ability to consult multiple news sources for information on current events.
Morocco has kept Islamic movements (See Azzedine Layachi's article on these movements) fairly well in check, yet followers of the leader of Morocco's most influential movement, Abdesalem Yacine, have developed a web site in which his banned writings are available in multiple languages. Thus the internet has become a way for them to defy censorship. Morocco, unlike most other countries in the MENA region, has multiple servers, multiple paths, and has never made a concerted effort to monitor or control internet traffic in the country. Indeed, many of the highest officials charged with supervision of Internet communications in Morocco have generally pursued policies based on the belief that Morocco must take the Internet in its entirety as a wide open phenomenon, accepting the opportunity to both present Morocco to the world and to benefit from the wealth of information available.