Open Internet News

4th December 2021

Mnangagwa Signs Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill into Law

News update |

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has signed into law the controversial Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill, which passed through the Senate in July 2021 and was awaiting Presidential assent.

The new legislation to be called Data Protection Act (Chapter 11:12) was signed Friday, amid concerns from human rights groups that Mnangagwa’s jittery government was bent on stifling dissent on social media…

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3rd December 2021

South African Cybercrimes Act is Now Law!

News Update |

The President has proclaimed that, from 1 December 2021, certain sections of the Cybercrimes Act, 2020 will come into full force. The Cybercrimes Act aims to:

regulate and harmonise legislation in respect of offences committed using electronic mediums, and creates offences which have a bearing on cybercrime including criminalising the disclosure of data messages which are harmful and providing for interim protection…

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1st December 2021

Cell Phone Levy Detrimental to Universal Access To Information

News Update |

Statement regarding the recent announcement of a levy on mobile phones by the Minister of Finance in his budget speech.

MISA Zimbabwe supports the push by parliamentarians to scrap the US$50,00 levy on new cell phone handsets as this will impact negatively on internet access and citizens’ rights to information.

Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube, proposed the…

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23rd November 2021

Blackouts, Social Media Bans, Digital Surveillance Continue to Rise Across Africa

News update |

Governments are getting increasingly sophisticated in squashing internet rights. But Gambia’s progress gives some hope.

Late in the night of November 30, 2016, citizens of the small West African nation, The Gambia, noticed their internet had gone down. Ordinarily, it might have been considered a technical fault somewhere in the system, but on the eve of a general election under…

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How China’s Huawei Technology is Being Used to Censor News Halfway Across The World

News update |

When a staffer at the independent media website Iwacu in the central African state of Burundi tried to visit the outlet online in late October, they received an error message instead. “Hum. Nous ne parvenons pas à trouver ce site;” the site could not be found  – even though the local media regulator had promised to unblock it in February.

A report published in August found…

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19th November 2021

How Digital Espionage Tools Exacerbate Authoritarianism Across Africa

News update |

Earlier this year, an international reporting project based on a list of 50,000 phone numbers suspected of being compromised by the Pegasus spyware program revealed just how widespread digital espionage has become. Pegasus, which is built and managed by the Israeli firm NSO Group, turns mobile phones into surveillance tools by granting an attacker full access to a device’s data. It is among…

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18th November 2021

Bridging Africa’s Digital Divide: The Rise of Community Internet

News update |

In villages and townships, Africans are building their own internet infrastructure to connect, and protect, the unconnected

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 18 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – As a child growing up in war-torn northern Uganda, Daniel Komakech’s education was interrupted every time he had to flee rebels and hide in the bush for days to avoid being abducted.

Today, Komakech, 34, helps run…

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17th November 2021

Disparity In The Data Collection Policies of Some Pan-African Firms in Uganda Raises Privacy Concerns

News update | 

Unwanted Witness, a Uganda-based civil society organisation, in its 2021 report on privacy revealed inconsistencies in the privacy policy of the telecoms companies Airtel and MTN, financial services firms such as Stanbic Bank, and the insurance company Old Mutual. The data protection and privacy policies of these pan-African companies operating in Uganda significantly differs from their policies in other parts of…

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