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[rpd] New Policy Proposal - "Anti-Shutdown (AFPUB-2017-GEN-001-DRAFT-01)"

sm+afrinic at sm+afrinic at
Wed Apr 12 19:14:00 UTC 2017

Hi Kris,
At 10:07 12-04-2017, Kris Seeburn wrote:
>SM let us take ICTA which is the authority in mauritius that you 
>would also recall has in the past acted on behalf of the Government 
>instructions and we know pretty well what was done and what was 
>effectively laid down in the press about these action. If we look at 
>the act and purview under which the mauritius ICTA was created like 
>it or not the board of ICTA are government nominees from chair to 
>each and every member. They are independent per say but the reality 
>is always different.

I cannot access the news article which was published in 2007.  I'll 
contact the newspaper to request a copy of the news article if you 
would like to read it.  There was an incident in November 2007; the 
ICTA, which is the national regulator, ordered Internet Service 
Providers in Mauritius to block Facebook and access to that site was 
blocked for a day.  I am aware that some members of the ICTA are 
political nominees as that was discussed in the National Assembly 
over a week ago [1].

In October 2015, a reporter from L'Express, which is a local 
newspaper, interviewed me about proposed regulations to block 
Facebook.  My reply was that: the proposed regulations were 
"farfelu".  I suggested holding a public consultation on any proposed 
regulation so that the opinion of the users are taken into consideration.

>If the chair and members are instructed to act on a decision of the 
>minister or the prime minister would they act or not? The answer is 
>very obvious. Let apart we are also seeing relative actions in our 
>financial sector. Without going into details, independent on paper 
>is a nice word to have. But we need to face the facts.

It is up to the Chair and members of the ICTA to decide whether to 
act on instructions from a government minister.  I agree that we need 
to face the facts.  The fact is that Mauritius has not blocked 
Facebook since 2007.

In October 2014, one or more Internet Service Providers in Mauritius 
fudged some DNS records as it was requested to do so by a government 
ministry.  Once the information became public, an  Internet Service 
Provider rolled back the DNS change.  The disastrous disaster 
recovery plan was then implemented. :-)

At 10:44 12-04-2017, Kris Seeburn wrote:
>I wanted to append an agreement which is official on the internet 
>between ICTA and MTMLfor example:
>I want to raise your attention to a certain section: Refer to 
>section 18 in the agreement:
>18. Compliance with Directions and Decisions
>The Licensee shall comply with all directions issued and decisions 
>made by the Authority under the Act, without prejudice to the 
>Licensee's rights to seek review under the Act and such other laws 
>as may be applicable.

Thanks for point that out.  The Licensee has the right to seek review.

>For country report have a look at Mauritius section which reads:
>Mauritians receive the majority of their news from television, which 
>is monopolized by the government. Radio broadcasts are dominated by 
>the government's Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation, which is funded 
>predominantly through a television license fee, although there are 
>several private radio stations. The private print media are vibrant, 
>with 9 daily papers and 33 weeklies, but ownership is concentrated 
>in two main media houses, Le Mauricien Ltd. and La Sentinelle Ltd. 
>The internet is unrestricted by the government, and usage is wide 
>compared with that in other African nations, at 24 percent of all 
>households. However, on November 9, the Information Communication 
>Technology Authority (ICTA) allegedly requested that internet 
>service providers block access to Facebook, the social-networking 
>site, in response to the posting of a fake profile of Prime Minister 
>[removed]. Access to Facebook was reportedly restored later in the 
>day once Facebook had removed the profile, following the ICTA's request.

Radio broadcasts are actually dominated by private radio 
stations.  Nowadays, there is even Parliament TV.  The local gossip 
is that there has been a lot of comments about that on Facebook.

>I can even dig more and lay them here. But it is an important 
>reminder that government ha its own views and controls whether we 
>like it or not. So the section 18 in the agreement between ICTA and 
>he ISP operator keeps and overall open decision block that the 
>regulator can exercise. And am sure we look over africa and 
>elsewhere the situation stands the same. You want to keep your license or not.

I cannot comment about other countries in Africa or other 
regions.  There is a legal case where a Licensee has a lawsuit 
against the ICTA.

S. Moonesamy


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