Blog

The Internet Has Been a Lifeline in 2020 – But Not for Everyone. Governments Must Act.

News Update |

COVID-19 has shown the internet is not a luxury but a lifeline, and underscored why affordable, meaningful internet access must be a basic human right

2020 has been the year of digital salvation and of digital deprivation. Just as the world has turned to the internet to work from home, keep businesses alive, go to school online and stay connected…

MRA Condemns Blocking of Three Websites Associated With #EndSARS Protests

Nigeria News update |

Lagos, Tuesday, December 1, 2020: Media Rights Agenda (MRA) today condemned the apparent surreptitious blocking of three websites associated with the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria, describing the action as a brazen and unjustifiable violation of the right to freedom of expression of the operators of the websites and other Nigerians who get information from the platforms.

The websites, www.feministcoalition2020.com, www.endsars.com, and www.radioisiaq.com,…

Universal Peer Review: Mozambique Should Guarantee Digital Rights

By Edrine Wanyama |

In April 2021, Mozambique’s human rights record will be assessed under the Universal Peer Review (UPR) process at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The assessment will need to shine a light on Mozambique’s record on online and offline rights to privacy, access to information, and free expression, which are increasingly under threat in the southern Afican country.

The UPR process offers…

New Tax on Online Services A Threat to Internet Freedom in Mauritius

By Thomas Robertson |

Under the premise of Covid-19 austerity measures, the government of Mauritius passed a new tax on digital services in August 2020. The “Liability to Value Added Tax on Digital and Electronic Services” is one of the several amendments to the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act introduced in the July 2020 Finance Bill.

The Act defines “digital or electronic service” as any…

Celebrating the First Anniversary of The Contract For the Web

News Update |

It’s been over a year since we launched the Contract for the Web — a global plan of action to make our online world safe and empowering for everyone, not just a privileged few. To mark this milestone, on November 17 we gathered the community of Contract for the Web endorsers to celebrate what we’ve achieved together so far and to look…

Civil Society Groups Denounce the European Union’s Involvement in Surveillance in Africa

Open Letter |

The increasing involvement of foreign entities in undermining democracy and respect for human rights in the digital sphere in Africa is widely documented. Whereas these schemes have mostly been attributed to spyware vendors and data analytics firms, recent disclosures have implicated the European Union (EU).

Investigations by Privacy International have revealed the use of EU aid and cooperation programmes to train and equip security forces…

Ethiopia Shuts Down Telephone, Internet Services in Tigray

News update in Ethiopia |

The Ethiopian government on Wednesday began restricting telephone and internet services to the troubled Tigray region, hours after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a military response to an ambush on the military.

Information access rights group, Access Now, indicated the region had been closed to the world after Addis Ababa imposed a six-month State of Emergency, accusing Tigray…

Guinea: Media Regulatory Body Lifts Suspension on News Website

Guinea News Update |

The Media Foundation for West Africa welcomes the lifting of the one-month suspension imposed on online press, Guineematin, by the Haute Autorité de la Communication (HAC), Guinea’s media regulatory body.

the suspension of guineematin.com followed the refusal of the general administrator of the website to stop a live broadcast on the site’s Facebook page of official polling station results during the…

Guinea Bissau: New Government, Old Repressive Attitude Towards the Media

Guinea Bissau News Update |

Freedom of the press and of expression received some impetus with the advent of democracy in 1994 when the first presidential elections were held with General Joao Bernardo Vieira emerging victorious. The national radio, the RDN and the Nö Pintcha Journal were the only state news organizations that had held a news monopoly since independence in 1974.…

Tanzania has Blocked Social Media, Bulk SMS as its Election Polls Open

Tanzania Election Update |
Tanzania has been blocking social media applications ahead of Wednesday’s (Oct. 28) election, days after the state issued a directive restricting text messaging within the country. This builds on earlier legislation outlawing international press from covering developments in the country without local media partnerships.
The presidential and parliamentary election in Tanzania tomorrow is likely to be tense, given the…