[AfrICANN-discuss] 2014 African Internet Policy and Media Law Roundup
Ephraim Percy Kenyanito
ekenyanito at gmail.com
Sat Apr 26 16:41:10 SAST 2014
*Ephraim Percy Kenyanito*
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From: The Center for Global Communication Studies (CGCS) <
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Date: 26 April 2014 15:01
Subject: The Center for Global Communication Studies (CGCS)
To: ekenyanito at gmail.com
The Center for Global Communication Studies
Link to The Center for Global Communication Studies (CGCS)]
African Internet Policy and Media Law
Posted: 25 Apr 2014 03:27 PM PDT
*Welcome to the first African Internet Policy and Media Law Roundup
compiled by Ephraim Percy Kenyanito
edition of the roundup explores notable events affecting, or affected by,
African internet policies from January through April 2014.*
*Zambia:* On January 1, 2014, Miles Sampa, Zambia’s Junior Minister of
Commerce, Trade, and Industry, declared
the Zambian Watchdog <https://www.zambianwatchdog.com/>, an independent
media website which published photos that point to Sampa’s alleged
extramarital affair. The Minister then decided to offer $2000
anyone who could reveal the identity of the people behind the website.
*Somalia:* The extremist Somali militia Al-Shabab issued an
internet service providers on January 8, 2014. On January 11,
2014, the Somali Minister of Interior and National Security downplayed the
threats <http://mad.ly/d71464> and urged the upholding of the right to free
expression enshrined in the country’s constitution.
*Somalia:* On January 12, 2014, telcos operating in Al-Shabab controlled
areas caved in to pressure <http://allafrica.com/stories/201401241187.html>from
Al-Shabab <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Shabaab_(militant_group)>, an
extremist militia group, and shut down internet
It is speculated<http://www.itnewsafrica.com/2014/01/telecom-operators-comply-with-al-shabaab-order/>
Al-Shabab was pressuring the telcos to shut down the internet in order to
prevent the government from tracking down to extremist group.
*Sudan:* On January 14, 2014, Tech President, released a
showed that US Sanctions against Sudan are preventing Sudanese
citizens, including civil society organizations, from protecting themselves
against international and national cyber threats.
*Zambia:* On January 17, 2014, operators of the independent news site
theZambian Watchdog<http://www.zambianwatchdog.com/>came under policy
scrutiny after an online journalist on the site published
a draft of the new Zambian constitution that politicians had drafted
butdid not want releasedto the general
*Morocco:* On January 19, 2014, it was made
the Moroccan government was contemplating the enactment of theCode
a new law that would allow Moroccan authorities to block websites deemed a
threat “public order, national security, necessities of public service, or
public policy.” The new law would also punish online statements considered
to be in violation of those rules. Online freedoms activists responded by
developing a crowdsourced
provided suggestions on some of the repressive sections of the law.
*Kenya:* On January 21, 2014, Kenyan bloggers
the negative impacts and potential chilling effect of new media laws
Kenya. According to bloggers, the new laws left them open to prosecution
due to some of its vague provisions. More information on these laws can be
*Egypt:* On January 31, 2014, the Egyptian Ministry of Interior submitted a
new law which criminalises the use of online
the name of curbing terrorism. Such platforms that instigate terrorism
could potentially be censored.
*Uganda:* On February 6, 2014, Ugandan lawmakers enacted the Anti
Section 17 (1) of the act, internet service providers (ISPs) whose systems
are used to upload or download pornography can be imprisoned for five years
and fined up to $4,000 USD. The law further requires all ISPs to install
implements Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), a form of filtering software
that can identify who has been accessing what on the internet.
*Ethiopia:* On February 12, 2014, University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab
revealed that that Ethiopian government was using Hacking Team’s RCS
surveil Ethiopian journalists abroad working at Ethiopian Satellite
Television Service, a US-based news outlet that is frequently critical of
the Ethiopian government.
*Sudan:* On February 17, 2014, Sudan Change Now, on its Facebook page,
the civil society community in Sudan to hold a peaceful sit-in on February
18, 2014, in front of the government-run Human Rights Commission (HRC), to
demand the immediate release of Tajeldin
Tajeldin Arja is a Sudanese blogger and activist who has been in detention
since his arrest on December 24, 2013 at a joint press conference of the
Sudanese and Chadian presidents in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital. Arja
criticized the Sudanese and Chadian presidents for their alleged complicity
in Darfur crimes.
*Egypt:* On February 18, 2014, an Egyptian youth group launch an “internet
protest what they consider a slow and overpriced internet service.
*Zambia:* On March 12, 2014, the son of Michael Sata, Zambia’s President,
allegedly beat up and
journalist affiliated with the controversial investigative news
the Zambia Watchdog <https://www.zambianwatchdog.com/>.
*South Africa:* On March 16, 2014, the South African communications
regulator ICASA raised the idea of introducing “net neutrality”
would stop operators from discriminating against traffic carried
across their networks.
*Gambia:* On March 21, 2014, Gambia was without internet
48 hours. Economist Sidi Sanneh, who served as the country’s foreign
minister in the mid-2000s, said the blackout resulted from government
efforts to block chat and call apps including Viber and other VoIP
internet-based messaging and phone services. Gambia’s Ministry of
access to Viber, blaming the problem instead on poor network
*Ethiopia:* On March 25, 2014, Human Rights Watch released “They Know
Everything We Do: Telecom and Internet Surveillance in
,” a 137-page report detailing government acquisition of surveillance tools
from foreign companies, cooperation with mobile service providers, and
sufficient testimony from journalists, activists, and others who have been
targeted by surveillance practices.
*Mozambique:* On April 3, 2014, that Mozambican lawmakers began considering
a new law<http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/04/03/mozambique-wants-to-criminalize-insulting-texts-emails-and-internet-posts/>that
would criminalize text messages, emails, and other online
communications deemed “insulting” or “threatening to the security of the
On April 3rd, Mozambique also joined The Alliance for Affordable
a global coalition working to make broadband affordable. Mozambique is the
first Southern African Development Community (SADC) country and the third
developing country (including Nigeria and Ghana) to
A4AI’s coalition is made up of more than 50 private sector, public sector,
and civil society organizations, working to reach the UN Broadband
Commission Broadband target of entry-level broadband services priced at
less than 5% of average monthly income.
*Zambia:* On April 6, 2014, Zambian Information Permanent Secretary Bert
the media policy the government is currently drafting will address
internet abuse and cybercrime. To the
some activists, the law is also intended to deal with prevention of
gossip within online discussion platforms.
*Nigeria:* On April 10, 2014, an engineer who tweets as
@ciaxon<https://twitter.com/ciaxon>allegedly disappeared after
an attempt by members of the Boko Haram terrorist group to escape a
state detention facility.
*Ethiopia:* On April 25, 2014, Ethiopian government officials are reported
to have arrested <http://inagist.com/all/459792326844751872/> at least six
bloggers and one journalist. The bloggers and journalists are part of a
movement known as
though inactive for the past seven months, has been operating since
2012. Members of the movement had been writing critical articles about the
regime and managed to conduct online campaigns,which raised public
awareness about the repression in the country. The bloggers and journalist
recently resumed their online activism on April 23, 2014.
Featured Photo Credit:[image:
rights reserved <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/> by
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