Hard Questions: Hate Speech

Who should decide what is hate speech in an online global community?
By Richard Allan & VP EMEA|

As more and more communication takes place in digital form, the full range of public conversations are moving online — in groups and broadcasts, in text and video, even with emoji. These discussions reflect the diversity of human experience: some are enlightening and informative, others…

Creating Catalysts for Collaboration in Strategic Digital Rights Litigation

By Nani Jansen Reventlow |
As the next millions of people move online, we will see more examples of legal frameworks that are not conducive to a free and open internet. This will restrict the free flow of information and the proper functioning of democracy. The soon-to-be published “Catalysts for Collaboration” seek to encourage internet activists to collaborate across disciplinary silos…

Media freedom in Africa ‘not great’

Media watchdogs are voicing concern about curbs on press freedom. DW looks at the media in Africa where restrictions range from subtle forms of censorship to imprisonment for journalists just doing their jobs.

Global press freedom has hit a 13-year low, the US rights organization Freedom House said on Friday. Earlier this week, Reporters Without Borders warned that press freedom was…

PRISM, Snowden and Government Surveillance: 6 Things You Need To Know

By Lavanya Rathnam|

Edward Snowden, one of the most famous whistle blowers of our times, brought to light the many surveillance programs and other snooping activities of the U.S. government. This former intelligence officer revealed top secret documents to Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian and Laura Poitras, a freelance journalist, in May 2013 at a hotel in Hong Kong.

The many documents…

18 NGOs File an Intervention Before France’s Highest Court on Dangers of The ‘Right to Be Forgotten’

Press Release | Today, 18 expert non-governmental organisations from across the world have filed legal submissions before France’s highest court, the Council of State (Conseil d’État), raising serious concerns about a ruling of France’s data protection authority, la Commission nationale informatique et libertés (“CNIL”), on the “right to be forgotten”.

In 2014, CNIL ordered Google to remove 21 links from the…

Kenya: Big Brother could start tapping your calls, texts from next week

By Edwin Okoth |

From Tuesday, the government wants to be allowed to listen to your calls, read your text messages and review your mobile money transactions.

The government, through the Communications Authority of Kenya, has ordered mobile phone companies to allow it to tap their computers.

The tapping into these computers will be done by a company contracted by the agency.

Though the…

13 Days Later, Cameroon Maintains Internet Shutdown Despite Global Outcry

By Juliet Nanfuka |

An internet shutdown in the primarily Anglophone regions of north-west and south-west Cameroon is now in its 13th day. The shutdown was first initiated across the country on January 16 and on January 17, internet access was reinstated in the Francophone parts of the country. As of January 30, the blockage in the Anglophone regions including in key…

Open Letter To Cameroonian Government On Internet Connectivity In Anglophone Regions

Open Letter |

On January 22, 2017, Civil Society Organizations from around the world sent the following open letter to The President of Cameroon, Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, and Minister of Communication, on ongoing Internet blackout in anglophone regions of the country.

Re: Internet Connectivity in the Republic of Cameroon

Your Excellencies,

We are writing to urgently request that you restore Internet access…

Zimbabwe’s Digital Activism Amidst Disproportionate Government Control of the Internet

By Juliet Nanfuka |

In 2016, activism in Zimbabwe took on a new persona through various social media campaigns that also transformed into offline activity.  In a move which critics believe is intended to suppress activism on social media, the national telecoms regulator known as the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) recently drove up internet access prices by up to 500% but…

Keeping the Internet accessible in Sudan, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo through circumvention tools in the event of a shutdown

By Arthur Gwagwa |

Internet shutdowns, carried out for stifling communications amongst protesters and dissenters, have become increasingly common in African countries during key political events, especially election periods. For example, in December 2016, both the Gambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) shutdown the Internet despite strong statements from the Keep It On campaign and other parties. Further, there was an…