Surveillance and Censorship in the Western Balkans (WB6)

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Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia
October 2023 – October 2025



Open Society Fund Bosnia and Herzegovina


The Western Balkans region faces a surge in surveillance and censorship practices that have profound implications for freedom of speech, human rights and democracy. The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and the network of organisations it founded – SEE Digital Rights Network, which comprises more than 30 regional organisations – have recognised the urgent need to address these issues.

This project aims to tackle surveillance and censorship by fortifying the resilience of journalists, human rights defenders, and civil society organisations (CSOs) against digital surveillance and censorship across the Western Balkans Six (WB6) countries. This involves a multi-pronged approach that includes exposing the abuse of digital technologies by both state and non-state actors, raising public consciousness of government surveillance and censorship, empowering key stakeholders, and promoting policy reform.

The main activities include mapping stakeholders involved in surveillance and censorship, promoting institutional transparency, and engaging citizens and activists in addressing these issues.

Anticipated outcomes encompass heightened awareness among the target audience, bolstered capabilities of journalists and CSOs, promotion of policy change recommendations, and secure whistleblowing via the reporting tool and the specialised webpage.

Main Goal of the Project:

To combat surveillance and censorship in the Western Balkans region by exposing the misuse of technology by state and non-state actors, raising awareness about government surveillance and censorship, and strengthening the resilience of journalists, human rights defenders, and civil society organisations (CSOs) to counteract the misuse of digital technologies.


Objective 1: Combat surveillance and censorship by exposing state and non-state actors’ misuse of technology.

Objective 2: Increase awareness about surveillance and censorship practices by state and non-state actors in the WB6 countries, and their short-term and long-term consequences on different stakeholders, including vulnerable and marginalized groups, and the general public.

Objective 3: Empower journalists, human rights defenders, CSOs, and citizens to counteract digital technology misuse.

Target Groups:

Journalists, human rights defenders, CSOs, and the general public


SEE Digital Rights Network Members

This project is made possible through grant support from the Open Society Foundation Western Balkan.