The Global Digital Download is a weekly publication that aggregates resources on Internet freedom, highlighting trends in digital and social media that intersect with freedom of expression, policy, privacy, censorship and new technologies. The GDD includes information about relevant events, news, and research. To find past articles and research, search the archive database.

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  • (Global Voices, Saturday, April 12, 2014)

    An engineer who tweets as @ciaxon who was allegedly detained for nearly two weeks after live-tweeting a deadly shootout between Boko Haram terrorists and security forces has been released. Yusuf Siyaka Onimisi went missing shortly after he posted a series of photos and eyewitness reports on March 30, 2014 of an escape attempt by several members of the northern Nigeria-based jihadist terrorist organisation held in detention at the Department of State Services (DDS) that left 20 dead.

  • (Computerworld Zambia, Friday, April 11, 2014)

    The Zambian government has rejected a draft constitution that would have prevented it from interfering with online and electronic news media, even though it spent more than $50 million to draft it. Instead, the government is drafting a law that would regulate online news media in order to stop what it called "Internet abuse." It is unclear whether the law would also regulate social media such as Twitter and Facebook.In Zambia, as in many other African countries, the Internet has emerged as a news source because of strict government controls on mainstream media. So, African governments have become increasingly concerned about online news and social media sites being used to express opposition opinions, and with the use of social media to plan protests. Social media played a pivotal role in protests that led to the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

  • (Index on Censorship, Wednesday, March 26, 2014)

    The increasingly authoritarian regime of Gambia is suspected of blocking the popular social media app Viber following weeks of speculation on the government’s intentions. The government said it has not been banned and blames service providers for the outage. Threatened by the growing popularity of free internet phone services using voice over internet protocol (VOIP), the government of Gambia is said to believe the use of such services is helping online Gambian media in the diaspora to deliver information to the public through whistle blowers. The regime in Banjul is also looking into the possibility of extending the block to other calling apps like Skype, according to press reports.

  • (Human Rights Watch, Tuesday, March 25, 2014)

    The Ethiopian government is using foreign technology to bolster its widespread telecom surveillance of opposition activists and journalists both in Ethiopia and abroad. The 100-page report, “‘They Know Everything We Do’: Telecom and Internet Surveillance in Ethiopia,” details the technologies the Ethiopian government has acquired from several countries and uses to facilitate surveillance of perceived political opponents inside the country and among the diaspora. The government’s surveillance practices violate the rights to freedom of expression, association, and access to information. The government’s monopoly over all mobile and Internet services through its sole, state-owned telecom operator, Ethio Telecom, facilitates abuse of surveillance powers.

  • (Committee to Protect Journalists, Monday, March 24, 2014)

    "@RFI speak straight up English, frenchie!! U crying? U started not to make sense," was one taunting tweet from a certain prolific Twitter account belonging to "Richard Goldston." The account, since deleted, belonging to a self-proclaimed "anti-imperialist," repeatedly antagonized Radio France Internationale journalist Sonia Rolley for her critical coverage of the deaths of Rwandan government officials-turned-dissidents. When Rolley tweeted about the killing of former Rwandan spy chief Col. Patrick Karegeya in South Africa in January, indicating her suspicion of Rwandan government involvement, several Rwandan Twitter accounts, including that of "Goldston," tried to discredit Rolley, claiming (without evidence) that she was romantically linked to the former spy chief. Tellingly, the "Twitter-Gate" story has made the rounds in the international press but hardly surfaced in Kigali, Terrill and local Rwandan journalists told me. Some local media houses did report the incident, said Fred Muvunyi, the chairperson for the Rwanda Media Commission, a new self-regulating body, but most cited the foreign press and social media networks. 

  • (Committee to Protect Journalists, Tuesday, March 11, 2014)

    The Internet, and Facebook in particular, is central to disseminating news in Nigeria, where traditional media are characterized by high operating costs, hampered by power cuts, or subject to external editorial interference from the government and advertisers. Nigeria has the highest number of Internet users in Africa, according to an Internet World Stats report from 2012, and Facebook is among the three most visited websites in the country, according to Web analytics company Alexa. On January 3, 2014, the Premium Times website came under a denial-of-service (DOS) attack, with users across continents getting a "website blocked" message, Emmanuel Ogala, Premium Times' online editor, told CPJ. The website crashed on January 5 and took nine hours to restore, Premium Times reported.

  • (All Africa , Monday, March 10, 2014)

    In its efforts to keep intra-country traffic within the country the Africa union has launched the internet exchange point (IXP) in Namibia as part of the African internet exchange system (AXIS)project. The IXP that was launched by the AU through the infrastructure and energy department and Namibian government will contribute to bringing efficiency in the routing of intra-country internet traffic and hence faster exchange of intra-country internet traffic.

  • (World Policy Blog, Tuesday, March 4, 2014)

    In the last five years, Africa has undergone a phenomenon that analysts refer to as the continent’s “digital revolution.” A recent wave of investor capital to the continent signals that this trend is unlikely to change course any time soon. The virtual revolution means sudden improvements to education, health and political spheres - prompting more leaders to embrace technological development as they would more “traditional” development projects.

  • (The Next Web, Monday, February 24, 2014)

    Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg is making his first appearance at Mobile World Congress, the telecom industry’s biggest global trade show, this week, and the social network’s Internet.org organization has used the show to announce a number of new projects to help increase global Internet connectivity. The organization has announced SocialEDU, its first pilot project which will provide students in Rwanda with access to what Facebook calls “a collaborative online education experience” via mobile. Facebook and Nokia — which are both members of Internet.org — have teamed up with the African country’s government and two domestic carriers to provide free access to educational content on “low-cost” smartphones.

  • (Electronic Frontier Foundation, Tuesday, February 18, 2014)

    An American citizen living in Maryland sued the Ethiopian government today for infecting his computer with secret spyware, wiretapping his private Skype calls, and monitoring his entire family's every use of the computer for a period of months. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is representing the plaintiff in this case, who has asked the court to allow him to use the pseudonym Mr. Kidane – which he uses within the Ethiopian community – in order to protect the safety and wellbeing of his family both in the United States and in Ethiopia. "We have clear evidence of a foreign government secretly infiltrating an American's computer in America, listening to his calls, and obtaining access to a wide swath of his private life," said EFF Staff Attorney Nate Cardozo. "The current Ethiopian government has a well-documented history of human rights violations against anyone it sees as political opponents. Here, it wiretapped a United States citizen on United States soil in an apparent attempt to obtain information about members of the Ethiopian diaspora who have been critical of their former government. U.S. laws protect Americans from this type of unauthorized electronic spying, regardless of who is responsible."

  • (Slate, Thursday, January 30, 2014)

    Last September, Sudan fell into digital darkness. Internet traffic dropped off the map for 24 hours—the largest national blackout since 2011, when Egypt was disconnected from the Internet at the height of the Arab Spring movement. It’s likely that the government in Khartoum instituted the blackout in response to protests and rioting across the country, especially since the digital crackdown occurred at the same time that riot police descended upon protesters in the streets. But the Sudanese government is not the only one making it more difficult for individuals to stay digitally connected. Currently, Sudan is one of five countries in the world subject to comprehensive U.S. sanctions, which are designed to change governments’ behavior. But some of the provisions of those sanctions have become outdated—especially when it comes to new technologies like personal communication tools. To protect people’s rights online, it is more important than ever to update U.S. sanctions in order to support the free flow information, as we argue in a recent policy paper by the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute.

  • (BBC, Thursday, January 9, 2014)

    Islamist militants in Somalia have issued a directive banning companies from providing internet services. The al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group has given firms 15 days to shut down mobile internet and fibre optic services, which are due to launch soon. Those who do not comply would be seen as "working with the enemy" and dealt with according to Islamic law, it said. Correspondents say the group often executes those it accuses of spying for Somalia's government or Western powers. Al-Shabab was driven out of the capital, Mogadishu, in August 2011, but still controls many southern and central areas of the country.

  • (IFEX, Wednesday, October 16, 2013)

    Reporters Without Borders is concerned about the disappearance of Dickson Bogonko Bosire, the editor of the Jackal News blog, since 18 September, two days before the start of the attack on the Westgate shopping mall, in Nairobi. His family has received no word for him for the past 26 days while his mobile phone is still on voicemail. An initial theory that he went into hiding after the site revealed the name of an International Criminal Court (ICC) witness has been ruled out by his family. The police are now investigating his disappearance. Bogonko worked for Agence France-Presse (AFP) before launching Jackal News. The site covers stories ranging from corruption investigations to the most salacious scandals, which have got him into hot water with politicians and businessmen.

     

  • (Access, Tuesday, October 15, 2013)

    Since we published the blog below, we have learned more about abuses committed by the Sudanese government before, during, and after the country’s communications network shutdown. According to the Association for Progressive Communications, an international network of open internet advocates, the Sudanese government began censoring journalists the week before the shutdown, and beginning on Sept. 25, the day of the blackout, at least 700 people were arrested, with dozens and possibly hundreds killed by government forces. In the aftermath of these events, the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC), a non-profit group that draws attention to the human rights impacts of companies, sent our blog condemning the network disruption and its effect on the human rights of Sudanese users to the four telcos operating in Sudan. Our blog asked the companies to report on their activities relating to the shutdown, and their relevant policies. Only one telco, MTN Sudan, answered BHRRC’s call for a response to our blog.

  • (GIRIFNA, Thursday, October 3, 2013)

    Today’s release of the annual publication Freedom on the Net that includes, for the first time, a chapter on Sudan authored by GIRIFNA, is more than timely, as Sudan starts witnessing a new wave of widespread protests triggered by the Sudanese government’s announcement in late September 2013 that it will lift economic subsidies from fuel and other essential food items. The Freedom on the Net 2013 report, which surveys 60 countries worldwide between May 2012 and April 2013, is the fourth edition of the series published by Freedom House. Since September 23, the Government of Sudan (GOS) has responded to the new wave of protests with unprecedented violence toward urban dwellers protesting peacefully. More than 200 have been killed in Khartoum and Wad Madani by live bullets shot by riot police, national security agents, and/or state sponsored militias. According to a government statement, 600 citizens have been detained, though activists say that number is much higher. On Wednesday, September 25, the GOS shut down Sudan’s access to the internet for 24 hours. When the internet returned, it was much slower, with Facebook inaccessible on mobile phones and YouTube blocked or non-functional due to a very slow broadband connection.

  • (The Guardian, Wednesday, September 25, 2013)

    All internet connections to Sudan were cut off abruptly on Wednesday afternoon, after riots erupted in northern Khartoum over the ending of fuel subsidies. The move to cut connections appears to have been done by the government to prevent protesters using social media to organise riots. "From the connectivity data alone, we cannot tell whether the blackout is government directed." Doug Madory from internet monitoring firm Renesys told the Guardian. "However, it is either a coincidental catastrophic failure of all three independent internet providers and their connections out of Sudan, including a terrestrial link into Egypt - unlikely given its not just a single connection - or some centrally directed, government action."

  • (allAfrica, Thursday, September 19, 2013)

    Media professionals in Kenya are warning journalists to guard against using inflammatory language when expressing their views on social media as they do in their day jobs. Hate speech in the Kenyan media was blamed for contributing to the widespread violence that followed the presidential election of December 2007. More than 1,100 people were killed and 650,000 others were displaced after the disputed results triggered violence along ethnic lines. Former broadcaster Joshua Arap Sang is one of three defendants - with President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto - facing trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, on charges of orchestrating the chaos. Prosecutors accuse Sang of acting as "the voice of the post-election violence" in the western Rift Valley province.

  • (Electronic Frontier Foundation, Wednesday, September 4, 2013)

    Dear Secretary of State John Kerry, This month marks the second anniversary of Eskinder Nega’s imprisonment.  When you visited Ethiopia in May, Eskinder Nega had already been imprisoned – and thus silenced - for over a year. It’s time for the United States to use its considerable influence to vigorously and directly advocate Nega’s freedom and, in the process, to promote free expression and independent journalism throughout Ethiopia. Now is a crucial moment for the Secretary to speak out. Over the weekend, Ethiopian security forces in Addis Ababa brutally suppressed a demonstration calling for political reforms and the release of jailed journalists and dissidents.
     

  • (The South African, Monday, September 2, 2013)

    Barely a month since President Jacob Zuma passed the Spy Bill (or, by its full name, the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill) into law, South Africa’s intelligence capacity is set to become more centralised, and freer from outside oversight, than at any time since the demise of Apartheid. The Spy Bill complements last year’s Protection of State Information Bill (known as the Secrecy Bill) to create a formidable legal framework for the unfettered surveillance of South African and international communications and individuals by the Rainbow Nation’s spooks. These powers – snooping into foreign electronic communications without a warrant, a mandate to protect a vaguely-defined ‘political stability’, the right to classify information without explanation – would be alarming enough for a trusted organisation.
     

  • (Committee to Protect Journalists, Friday, August 23, 2013)

    The charges leveled against a Zambian journalist suspected by authorities of being linked to the blocked news website Zambian Watchdog make for interesting reading. This week, freelancer Wilson Pondamali appeared in court on charges of theft of a library book and being in possession of military stores. These charges pale in comparison to the initial accusation of sedition and insulting the president, according to the independent website Zambia Reports. Zambian authorities first blocked domestic access to the Zambian Watchdog, a website that frequently criticizes government and the ruling Patriotic Front party, on June 24. The site moved to a different server and was accessible until mid-July, when it was blocked again.

  • (IFEX, Monday, August 19, 2013)

    The government of The Gambia has indicated its readiness to fully implement the recently-passed draconian legislation intended to restrict online freedom. Momodou Sabally, head of Civil Service and Minister of Presidential Affairs, served notice of the government's intentions to crackdown on online freedom at a meeting held on August 8, 2013, with religious leaders and cabinet members at the official seat of government, the State House. The minister warned Gambians – particularly the youth – against participating in online campaigns against the government. "If you cannot say anything good about the country, then you should keep quiet," he exclaimed.

  • (IFEX, Tuesday, August 13, 2013)

    Though the shackles of apartheid and the public role of Nelson Mandela have faded, South Africa is confronting questions about government surveillance in the digital era, media regulation and artistic censorship. Apartheid in South Africa (1948-1994) was partially kept in place with restrictions on the flow of information. The state attempted to draw a veil of secrecy over the intensification of repression through detention without trial, house arrests and the torture and killing of opponents from the 1960s onwards. Music and literature were among the modes of anti-apartheid resistance from the 1960s onwards. Literature and music supportive of political opposition or that was deemed sexually permissive was banned. Some journalists, authors and musicians left the country to escape prosecution while many who stayed were persecuted. Television was only allowed in the country in the mid-1970s and only when the then ruling National Party was convinced it could control the medium.

  • (Global Voices, Saturday, August 10, 2013)

    On August 7, Mauritanian authorities arrested [ar] Babbah Weld Abidine, a blogger (editor of Lebjawi News blog) [ar -fr] and a correspondent in the Region of Tagant for the website “Reporters – Mourasiloun”. Two days before his arrest, Weld Abidine went to the Public Prosecution office to inquire about a rape case where there relatives of the victim accuse the authorities of closing the file and freeing the rapist. A warrant arrest was issued against him and he was taken to prison.

  • (Index on Censorship, Monday, August 5, 2013)

    Though the shackles of apartheid and the public role of Nelson Mandela have faded, South Africa is confronting questions about government surveillance in the digital era, media regulation and artistic censorship. Apartheid in South Africa (1948-1994) was partially kept in place with restrictions on the flow of information. The state attempted to draw a veil of secrecy over the intensification of repression through detention without trial, house arrests and the torture and killing of opponents from the 1960s onwards. Music and literature were among the modes of anti-apartheid resistance from the 1960s onwards. Literature and music supportive of political opposition or that was deemed sexually permissive was banned. Some journalists, authors and musicians left the country to escape prosecution while many who stayed were persecuted. Television was only allowed in the country in the mid-1970s and only when the then ruling National Party was convinced it could control the medium.

  • (IFEX, Friday, August 2, 2013)

    A few days after the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) called on Zambian police authorities to release freelance journalist Wilson Pondamali, from jail, the scribe has been granted bail. On 31 July 2013, a magistrate in Kabwe ordered Pondamali's release. The journalist, who spent almost a week in hospital, where he was chained to his bed, has now been reunited with his family. Speaking to MISA, Pondamali said he still was not feeling well but was relieved to be home.

  • (The Guardian, Thursday, July 25, 2013)

    On Wednesday, Robert Mugabe, will seek another term as Zimbabwean president in a rematch of the contentious 2008 election with challenger Morgan Tsvangirai. But this time, 33 years after the 89-year-old first took office, the icon of the African independence era is being hounded by a creation of the Internet age. In March, a self-proclaimed disaffected insider of the ruling Zanu-PF party created the Facebook page of "Baba Jukwa". With the disarming profile picture of a cartoon old man, Baba Jukwa traffics in political napalm, spilling damaging details of high-level party meetings, allegations of voter fraud, and embarrassing gossip – all replete with private phone numbers for citizens to harass the officials in question.

  • (Reporters Without Borders, Tuesday, July 23, 2013)

    After Zambian Watchdog (www.zambianwatchdog.com) and the mirror of that site created by Reporters Without Borders, Zambia Reports (www.zambiareports.com) has become the latest independent news website to be blocked by the Zambian government. Like Zambian Watchdog, Zambia Reports is based abroad but uses anonymous correspondents working inside Zambia. To circumvent the government’s censorship, Reporters Without Borders has created another mirror site: zambiareports.rsf.org.

  • (Committee to Protect Journalists, Wednesday, July 17, 2013)

    Zambian authorities should stop their ongoing harassment of the Zambian Watchdog, a site that reports on alleged government corruption, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Police arrested another journalist they accused of contributing to the site, and blocked domestic access to the site for the second time, according to the Watchdog's editor and news reports. "It is alarming to see a democratically elected government determined to silence and intimidate its critics," said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Sue Valentine. "On the eve of Nelson Mandela's birthday, we call on President Michael Sata to honor freedom of speech and to heed Mandela's words that a critical, independent, and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy."
     

  • (Global Voices, Friday, July 12, 2013)

    Parliamentarians in the tiny West African state of the Gambia have ratified and passed a new law that clamps down on critiquing or lampooning government officials on the Internet. The Information Communication (amendment) Act 2013 imposes a jail term of up to 15 years in prison or a fine of up to three million Dalasi (about 100,000 US dollars) or both.

  • (The Guardian, Friday, July 12, 2013)

    Without reliable internet access, development professionals in the south have no voice. The danger is then that you rely on others to speak for you – and hope they get it right.
     

  • (IFEX, Thursday, July 11, 2013)

    Two journalists, Clayson Hamasaka and Thomas Zgambo, are likely to be charged with defaming Zambian president Michael Sata. The pair has been in separate police confinement since the early hours of 9 July 2013 after a raid on their houses, which also resulted in the confiscation of personal computers and other digital equipment. They are suspected of running or being part of the Zambian Watchdog, an online website that largely provides news services on Zambia.

  • (IFEX, Friday, July 5, 2013)

    The Gambian National Assembly, the country's legislative body, has passed into law an amendment to the Information and Communication Act, imposing stiffer sanctions on persons found guilty of using the Internet to spread false news. 

  • (Global Voices, Monday, July 1, 2013)

    Zambian Vice President Dr. Guy Scott recently told parliament he would celebrate if the Zambian Watchdog, an independent citizen media site, were to shut down.

  • (Committee to Protect Journalists, Thursday, June 27, 2013)

    A private website that documents alleged Zambian government corruption has been blocked in the country since Monday, its editor told CPJ. The Zambian Watchdog's Lloyd Himaambo has said that the website's staff believes the authorities are responsible for ordering the blocking.

  • (Reporters Without Borders, Friday, May 31, 2013)

    Reporters Without Borders is disturbed to learn that the National Communication Council (CNC), Burundi’s media regulator, has ordered the Iwacu press group to prevent visitors to its website (www.iwacu-burundi.org) from posting comments for the next 30 days. “This is unprecedented,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Until now, the CNC had never taken a disciplinary measure against a website, still less an online forum. Would it not be more appropriate to take issue with the comments regarded as problematic, rather than suspend the entire forum?

  • (Reporters Without Borders, Monday, May 27, 2013)

    Reporters Without Borders calls for the release of Maydaneh Abdallah Okieh, a technician responsible for the news website La Voix de Djibouti, who has been detained since 15 May. Okieh is due to appear in court tomorrow on charges of “insulting a police officer” and “defaming the police.” “The charges against Okieh are baseless,” Reporters Without Borders said. “There is nothing in the prosecution file. All he did was post photos of the police using excessive force to disperse a peaceful demonstration. His arrest is a sign of the regime’s paranoia. We call for the journalist’s immediate release and the withdrawal of all the charges held against him.”

  • (Voice of America, Tuesday, May 21, 2013)

    A non-profit technology company based in Kenya has created a wireless Internet router that it says will help people living in places where electricity is spotty and Internet service is unreliable. Founded in early 2008, Ushahidi is known primarily for its open-source software applications, but is now launching its first piece of hardware, called the BRCK. One of the BRCK's designers says the "backup generator for the Internet" was created for anyone looking for reliable Internet use and will be particularly useful in Africa and other underdeveloped places.

  • (Global Voices, Saturday, May 18, 2013)

    Francophone African online communities were astonished to learn on May 7 that Chadian blogger Makaila Nguébla had been arrested by Senegalese intelligence services and the deported to Conakry (Republic of Guinea) from Dakar. Nguébla, who had lived in exile in Senegal for eight years, is the editor of the collective blog Makaila Info, an information and opinion site that is highly popular among Chadians inside the country and abroad. In the phone interview with Global Voices Advocacy, Nguébla's lawyer explained that deportation to a country where a journalist would receive less protection than in his or her home country runs contrary to Senegalese law.

  • (Reporters Without Borders, Tuesday, May 14, 2013)

    Reporters Without Borders condemns the government’s blocking of access to Facebook and certain opposition websites since 12 May. The targets include the site of the main opposition party, Convergence For Social Democracy (CPDS), which is fielding candidates for the 26 May parliamentary and municipal elections. At the same time, the website of the ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) continues to be fully accessible.

  • (Global Voices, Monday, May 13, 2013)

    Senegalese authorities have expelled Chadian journalist and blogger Makaila Nguebla, an opponent of his country's President Idriss Déby who has ruled Chad for more than two decades, to neighboring Guinea after refusing to grant him political refugee status. Nguebla, who was living in exile in Senegal's capital city of Dakar since 2005, was deported on May 8, 2013. He settled in Senegal after being arrested in Tunisia in 2005; thanks to international pressure, Tunisian authorities did not deport him back to Chad.

  • (IFEX, Tuesday, May 7, 2013)

    The Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International protests the treatment of blogger and writer Jean Laokolé, who has been charged with defamation after being arrested by a group of men in civilian clothes on 22 March 2013 and detained incommunicado for three days. The charges are thought to relate to a series of articles he wrote and posted on a blog denouncing corruption, poor governance and nepotism in Chad. 

  • (Electronic Frontier Foundation, Thursday, May 2, 2013)

    Yesterday, the Ethiopian Supreme Court upheld the conviction and extreme sentence of award-winning online journalist Eskinder Nega, who now faces 18 years in prison. Nega was arrested in September 2011 and charged with “terrorism” under a vague law in Ethiopia that has been used to target online journalists and political dissenters. His trial and appeal faced repeated delays, while international human rights and free expression groups continued to criticize his imprisonment and punishment.

  • (Reporters Without Borders, Friday, April 12, 2013)

    Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about Jean Etienne Laokolé, an opposition blogger who has been held by the Chadian security forces for the past three weeks, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release. Laokolé, who was arrested in N’Djamena on the night of 22 March, is also an author, activist and humanitarian worker.

  • (Bikya.news, Monday, April 1, 2013)

    In an opinion released today by Freedom Now, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found the Government of Ethiopia’s continued detention of independent Ethiopian journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega a violation of international law. The panel of five independent experts from four continents held that the government violated Mr. Nega’s rights to free expression and due process. The UN Working Group called for his immediate release.

  • (The Guardian, Wednesday, March 27, 2013)

    It's no surprise Google wants an unregulated internet. It detests competition regulation and copyright enforcement, no doubt because it affects the corporation's bottom line. But in Africa, a continent that has experienced the effect of infringement of intellectual property on both innovation and the ability of its citizens to make a living, ministers are coming out in force to protect it. In sharp contrast to Schmidt's announcement, African policymakers attending a ministerial-level meeting in Tanzania agreed on the importance of developing national intellectual property frameworks in order to foster innovation.

  • (Al Jazeera, Monday, March 18, 2013)

    Al Jazeera’s English and Arabic websites are reported to have been blocked in Ethiopia, raising fresh fears that the government is continuing its efforts to silence the media. Though the authorities in Addis Ababa have refused to comment on the reported censorship, Google Analytics data accessed by Al Jazeera shows that traffic from Ethiopia to the English website had plummeted from 50,000 hits in July 2012 to just 114 in September. Traffic data revealed a similar drop for the Arabic website, with visits to the site dropping to 2 in September from 5,371 in July.

  • (IT News Africa, Wednesday, March 13, 2013)

    The President of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) said he is moving ahead immediately with plans to have six new ICANN representatives on the African continent. “ICANN used to say if you want to participate in Internet governance come to ICANN,” said Fadi Chehadé. “We’ve changed that, now ICANN is coming to the stakeholders. We’re not waiting for you to come. We’re coming to you.” Chehadé made his comments during a two-day Africa Multi-stakeholder Internet Governance meeting of Internet leaders from across the continent, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

  • (ieee Spectrum, Monday, February 25, 2013)

    The University of Kinshasa, the largest university in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has nearly 30 000 students, faculty, and research staff—but only 800 computers. And although its internal data network is fast enough to support on-campus e-mail, virtual library access, and online coursework, its link to the outside world is no better than that of a typical household in the United States or Europe.When I visited the university about a year ago, the restricted capacity meant that only 200 senior staff had Internet privileges—for whatever those were worth. I was able to go online for a short time, but the connection was barely usable. Web pages timed out or loaded so slowly that after about 10 minutes, I simply gave up.

  • (PC Advisor, Tuesday, February 19, 2013)

    China is facing allegations that it is helping the Zambian government with deep packet inspection technology to eavesdrop, mine data, censor and intercept communications. The allegations come less than two years after the Chinese government was accused of helping the Ethiopian government block news websites in Ethiopia and jam Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) and other broadcasters including the Voice of America and Germany's Deutsche Welle Amharic service. Deep packet inspection technology (DPI) allows monitoring of traffic from a specific IP address and enables the ability to spy on email even as it is being typed out by the user. The Zambian government reportedly intends to introduce the monitoring mechanism to vet Internet services coming in and out of the country.

  • (The New York Times, Monday, February 4, 2013)

    Microsoft, taking aim at the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market, said on Monday that it would team up with Huawei of China to sell a low-cost Windows smartphone in Africa. The phone, called the Huawei 4Afrika Windows Phone, will cost $150 and initially be sold in seven countries. Microsoft’s Windows Phone software is fourth among smartphone operating systems, with just 2 percent of the worldwide market in September, according to Canalys, a research firm in Reading, England.

  • (Access, Monday, February 4, 2013)

    MTN is being sued in U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia by Turkish telecom Turkcell for interfering with its contract for 3G service in Iran. Turkcell says MTN offered Iran weapons (including military helicopters and sniper rifles), and UN votes. Former MTN Irancell executive Chris Kilowan has testified that MTN offered to “provide access by the Iranian Ministry of Defense to MTN’s devices” to “facilitate installation of eavesdropping technology on MTN devices" and technical help with spying on Iran’s citizens. MTN is also accused of offering hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to South Africa’s ambassador in Iran and Iran’s deputy foreign minister. Turkcell claims it was first awarded the 3G license that MTN secured in 2005 and holds to this day.

  • (BBC News, Wednesday, January 23, 2013)

    Kenya's president has launched a $14.5bn (£9.1bn) project to build a new city intended to be an IT business hub and dubbed "Africa's Silicon Savannah". It will take 20 years to build Konza Technology City about 60km (37 miles) from the capital, Nairobi. It is hoped that more than 20,000 IT jobs will be created in Konza by 2015, and more than 200,000 jobs by 2030.

  • (Global Voices, Friday, January 4, 2013)

    Humanitarian bloggers Mohamed Diaby and Cyriac Gbogou wrote on twitter that they were put under arrest on January 4th for allegedly interfering with disaster recovery and fraud attempt while trying to help organize support for the victims of the stampede on new year day in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

  • (.nxt, Monday, December 3, 2012)

    WCIT has got off to a quick and effective start. Having spent much of the past year preparing for the conference and notwithstanding a number of last-minute contributions, the governments of the world are ready for what will be a contentious conference. The first day saw the heads of delegations meet and thrash out agreements that their staff had already largely agreed. Then came the opening ceremony and a stage-managed but important display of support between the ITU and ICANN. The message was plain: WCIT will not be about Internet governance.

  • (IFEX, Wednesday, November 28, 2012)

    Eskinder Nega, an award-winning journalist who has been imprisoned for over a year, appeared briefly in court two weeks ago to appeal the terrorism charges levied against him. Eskinder has unwaveringly denied the charges, maintaining that blogging about human rights abuses and democracy is not a form of terrorism. In July, Eskinder was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his reporting.
     

  • (Electronic Frontier Foundation, Monday, November 19, 2012)

    Eskinder Nega, an award-winning journalist who has been imprisoned for over a year, appeared briefly in court two weeks ago to appeal the terrorism charges levied against him. Eskinder has unwaveringly denied the charges, maintaining that blogging about human rights abuses and democracy is not a form of terrorism.

  • (Global Voices, Wednesday, November 14, 2012)

    The most visible face of Guinea-Bissau's blogosphere, António Aly Silva, wrote that he is being accused of “the crime of incitement to war” and that an international arrest warrant was issued against him by the regime in power since the coup of April 2012. In an interview for the blog O Informador (The Insider), Aly talks about his escape to Dakar and current exile in Portugal

  • (Global Voices, Wednesday, November 14, 2012)

    Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) reports that four journalists and a blogger are prosecuted for defamation and ”complicity in spreading false news”. The charges against the reporters were submitted by Mamy Ravatomanga, a billionaire who owns several news outlets and is the former employer of the Minister of Communication. Blogger Alain Rajaonarivony and several newspapers reported that Mamy Ravatomanga is involved in illegal rosewood logging that threatens the survival of Madagascar rain forest.

  • (Access, Wednesday, November 7, 2012)

    Access has repeatedly seen governments crack down on dissent by using telecoms to surveil users and filter content. Iran epitomizes this trend, as its connected, tech-savvy population runs up against a government that relies on advanced surveillance and censorship methods to stifle free expression. One foreign telecom operating there, MTN, has faced international criticism and investigations over reports of its role in the harassment of government critics and participation in corrupt business practices.

  • (PC Advisor, Thursday, October 18, 2012)

    As the Web increasingly becomes a conduit for expression of social unrest, Zambia and Malawi are moving to close down and more closely monitor online media. The attempts to shut down online news sites come in the wake of popular uprisings in Africa and the Middle East last year, and pose a threat to the growth of the Internet in the region, critics say.

  • (Global Voices, Wednesday, October 17, 2012)

    Online journalist Justice Mponda was arrested Monday morning 15 October 2012, in Blantyre allegedly for insulting the president, publishing false information and criminal libel. Mponda works with the news website Malawi Voice.

  • (IFEX, Wednesday, October 10, 2012)

    The special commission created by Malawi's new president to investigate opposition blogger Robert Chasowa's death in September 2011 has concluded that he was murdered, as his family and colleagues had suspected all along. 

  • (Reuters, Tuesday, October 9, 2012)

    Kenyans spent more time surfing the Internet on their cell phones in the second quarter of this year from a year ago in east Africa's biggest economy, the regulator said on Tuesday. The Internet or data market leapt by 19.2 percent in the second quarter from the same period a year ago to 7.7 million users, the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) said.

  • (Nyasa Times, Thursday, October 4, 2012)

    In a move that may be seen by a number of media practitioners and some members of the public as having a negative impact on media freedom and freedom of expression, the government of Malawi, led by President Joyce Banda, has introduced a Bill that seeks to regulate and control online communications in Malawi. “The main objective of the Malawian Government is to have the Republic of Malawi benefit from a true technological leap which may fasten its economic growth by enabling the development of new economic activities thanks to the implementation of a secure legal framework regulating the use of [information Communication Technologies - ICTs]” reads the introductory note to the Bill, which has been labelled the E-Bill.

  • (This Day Live, Thursday, October 4, 2012)

    Social media has been in the news lately. Salvos from political leaders and various sectors of society, especially following the death of Cynthia Okosogu have tended to portray social media a pervasive enabler of evil. Some have called for curtailing the freedom, whilst others have taken up argument on the other side of the divide, stressing that Social media represents a democratic platform to express opinions and views freely and without fear or reprisal. Only this week, President Barack Obama of the United States of America stated that in this modern world, where all sorts can be published at the click of a button, to respond with violence, simply empowers those who wish to generate hate. Whilst the context was that of the condemnable film that has triggered so much violence, this statement recognizes the pervasive power of the Social media platforms to spread information with unpredictable consequences.

  • (IFEX, Friday, September 21, 2012)

    The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemns the blocking of YouTube by Sudanese authorities. On 16 September 2012, the Sudanese Ministry of Communication blocked YouTube from the Internet without reasons and without details. The decision was strongly condemned by several journalists and activists, who tried to call the National Communication Authority, but were not provided with information.  

  • (CIMA, Tuesday, September 18, 2012)

    CIMA is pleased to release its latest report, Bigger Cities, Smaller Screens: Urbanization, Mobile Phones, and Digital Media Trends in Africa, by veteran journalism educator and media executive Adam Clayton Powell III. The convergence of African urbanization and technological change, including the rise of digital media, is driving major change on the continent.

  • (Global Voices, Monday, September 17, 2012)

    On 13 July, 2012, Ethiopia's federal court sentenced a prominent Ethiopian blogger Eskinder Nega and 23 other opposition activists to 18 years in jail for allegedly participating in terrorist activities. Eskinder Nega is a journalist, who turned to blogging to find a breathing space online for his dissenting views, has been in a prison for a year now. 14 September, 2012 marks the first anniversary of his arrest.

  • (The Telegraph, Wednesday, September 12, 2012)

    When a potato disease ravaged Kenya, farmer Zack Matere searched the phrase “potato disease” on the internet. He was taken to a website that told him that ants were eating his potato stems. On the same website, Matere found that the cure was to sprinkle wood ash on the crop. Two months later, his potatoes were back in shape. Online, he found a local buyer for his rescued crop. He now uses an internet-enabled phone to get real-time potato prices. As Matere’s story testifies, the internet represents a powerful force for economic development. Yet the net’s success in giving all of us unprecedented access to information has generated a worrying backlash. The number of governments that censor internet content has grown from four in 2002 to 40 today. And the number is still growing.

  • (The Media Online, Tuesday, September 11, 2012)

    Citizens need to become more vigilant about businesses that censor Internet freedom in South Africa and not focus only on government restrictions. By Yazeed Kamaldien. Professor Jane Duncan, Highway Africa journalism conference chairperson for media and information society, has warned at a journalism conference this week that privately-owned Internet Service Providers (ISPs) play a role too in censoring the Internet. Duncan is former head of the Freedom of Expression Institute in South Africa and is currently based at the school of journalism and media studies at Rhodes University in Grahamstown.

  • (Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Sunday, August 26, 2012)

    The number of young Ugandans who have taken up blogging is on the rise. They use the freedom of the internet to comment on issues like good governance, government excesses and corruption. 18-year-old student Racey Carlton Mujuni is one of them.

  • (Global Voices, Friday, August 24, 2012)

    Controversial Kenyan blogger and Twitter user Robert Alai was detained in police cells on Tuesday 21 August, 2012, for allegedly abusing the Kenya Information and Communication Act. Alai is accused of claiming that Kenyan government spokesperson Alfred Mutua wanted to kill him, and alleging Mutua's involvement in ordering the murder of human rights activists, Oscar King'ara and Paul Oulu, in 2009. Alai pleaded not guilty and was released on a cash bail of 100,000 Kenyan shillings.

  • (PC Advisor, Wednesday, August 22, 2012)

    The death of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, long accused of censoring ordinary citizens' access to the Internet, blocking news websites and jamming Ethiopian Satellite Television, leaves the future course of technology in the country uncertain. The 57-year-old Zenawi, in power for more than 20 twenty years, died Monday in a hospital in Brussels. Zenawi had not been seen in public for two months and no details of his illness has been divulged by the government.

  • (Access, Friday, August 17, 2012)

    South Africa-based telecom MTN shows little respect for the human rights of its users. Operating in Iran and Syria, they have been implicated in monitoring and tracking of activists. The company lacks a coherent human rights policy and has taken no steps toward a transparent, multi-stakeholder dialogue. MTN had the audacity to hire a PR team and ask us about their company's public perception. We told them it doesn't matter what they appear to be doing -- it matters what they actually do.

  • (The New York Times, Thursday, August 16, 2012)

    China’s investment prowess and construction know-how is widely on display in this long-congested African capital. A $200 million ring road is being built and partly financed by Beijing. The international airport is undergoing a $208 million expansion supported by the Chinese, whose loans also paid for a working-class housing complex that residents have nicknamed the Great Wall apartments.

  • (Open Society Foundations, Monday, August 13, 2012)

    Nigeria has a relatively high internet penetration rate, driven primarily by a rapid expansion of mobile platforms. Recent figures suggest that over a third of the population have access to the internet and there are over 50 mobile phones per 100 Nigerians. However, internet access is concentrated geographically within just 16 percent of the country, and overwhelmingly within urban areas. 

  • (Reporters Without Borders, Wednesday, August 8, 2012)

    Ethiopia’s federal supreme court reduced columnist Reyot Alemu’s jail sentence from 14 to five years in prison on 3 August after overturning her conviction on charges of receiving money from illegal sources, conspiring and possessing material for a terrorist act but upholding her conviction on a charge of helping to promote or communicate it. She is being held in Kality prison on the outskirts of the capital. "Ever since the start of this case, we have been saying that contacting members of the political opposition does not turn a journalist into a terrorist," Reporters Without Borders said.

  • (Sahara Reporters, Monday, August 6, 2012)

    Under intense social media backlash, Nigerian Senate President David Mark denies that he called for the censorship of social media in Nigeria. He says "mischief-makers" took his comments out of context. David Mark's Special Advisor, Kola Ologbondiyan issued the following statement: Recently, the President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, delivered a keynote address at the Senate press corps Retreat in Umuahia, Abia Sate. 

  • (APAI, Monday, August 6, 2012)

    We, participants comprising representatives of diverse civil society organizations from the human rights, media and ICT policy sectors, meeting at the Pan African Civil Society Workshop on “Who Controls the Internet” held in Nairobi, Kenya, on July 26 and 27, 2012: Affirm the importance of the Internet as an enabling medium for democratisation and the promotion, exercise and enjoyment of human rights; For full report, please download the following document : Final Statement of the Pan African CS Workshop on who control the Internet.

  • (BBC News, Monday, August 6, 2012)

    Some believe it's by looking up to the heavens. Not in hope of divine intervention, but as an opportunity: satellite-powered broadband could be the answer to Africa's connectivity conundrum. The internet is, as one US senator once put it, a series of tubes. His comments went down in internet folklore and were roundly mocked - but his remarks were loosely true. For the internet to get around the world it needs cables - lots of them.

  • (AllAfrica.com, Thursday, July 26, 2012)

    Senate President, Senator David Mark, Thursday, called for a check on the menace of the social media on the Nigerian society, saying that people now use them to demean their leaders. Mark said the need to check the social media became necessary, as they do not have the avenue for retraction of whatever they had done.

  • (All Africa, Thursday, July 26, 2012)

    Nigerian Senate President, Senator David Mark, Thursday, called for a check on the menace of the social media on the Nigerian society, saying that people now use them to demean their leaders. Mark said the need to check the social media became necessary, as they do not have the avenue for retraction of whatever they had done.

  • (CNN, Monday, July 16, 2012)

    When Kenya invaded Somalia in October 2011 to oust destabilizing Al Shabaab insurgent elements there, the international community paid scant attention. Apparently more newsworthy was the “Tweet-off” a couple of months later between the Kenyan Army’s spokesman Emmanuel Chirchir and a spokesman for Al Shabaab that touched on issues as mundane as goat killings and as contentious as the ethical permissibility of war tactics. The episode was a reminder not only of the prevalence of the internet even in the world’s failed states, but, more importantly, it underscored how social media might be used as a tool in the conduct of international wars – or in the pursuit of peace.

  • (Reporters Without Borders, Friday, July 6, 2012)

    Reporters Without Borders still believes that the 2012 Proclamation on Telecom Fraud Offences as it is worded currently is disproportionately vague and could be applied to severely restrict the use of VoIP, ensuring the Ethio-Telecom network retains its service monopoly and maintains its revenue levels. The criminal law should be precise and be interpreted, we believe, as unambiguously as possible to protect people’s right to communicate using VoIP services.

  • (National Geographic, Wednesday, July 4, 2012)

    Click a few keys, exchange a few numbers, and it’s done. With just a mobile phone and a registration with Safaricom, Kenya’s mobile service giant, you can pay for anything in seconds – no cash, no long journeys to towns to reach a bank, and no long lines when you get there. This is m-Pesa, the revolutionary approach to banking which is changing economies across Africa.

  • (Committee to Protect Journalists, Friday, June 29, 2012)

    Ethiopia has always been a country at the cutting edge of Internet censorship in Africa. In the wake of violence after the 2005 elections, when other states were only beginning to recognize the potential for online reporters to bypass traditional pressures, Meles Zenawi's regime was already blocking major news sites and blog hosts such as blogspot.com. This year, the strictures tightened again, with what many observers believe was the rollout of a far more pervasive and sophisticated blocking system.

  • (Electronic Frontier Foundation, Tuesday, June 26, 2012)

    Sudan may not have "pulled a Mubarak" and shut off the Internet, but that hasn't stopped the government's attempts to silence vocal citizens online. Four days after we first reported his arrest, Usamah Mohammed Ali (better known as @simsimt) remains in detention, his whereabouts unknown, while Maha El-Sanosi was released over the weekend only to be arrested again today.

  • (Global Voices, Saturday, June 23, 2012)

    Yesterday’s protests in Sudan saw the arrest of many protesters from the streets by police and National Intelligence Security Service (NISS) agents. Among them is prominent Sudanese Twitter personality and activist Usamah Mohammed Ali (@simsimt). In his last tweet, Usamah was advocating free content to help spread the word about the events happening on the streets in the capital Khartoum.

  • (Global Voices, Friday, June 22, 2012)

    Netizens are watching Sudan closely, following rumours that the Sudanese authorities intend to cut off the Internet - a chilling reminder of Egypt's attempt to silence activists and contain the January 25 revolution when it pulled the plug off the www on January 27.

  • (Global Voices, Tuesday, June 19, 2012)

    Ethiopians have their attention focused on the controversial new bill which criminalizes the use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services such as Skype and Google Talk. Netizens are especially furious over the country’s state owned Ethio-Telecom, which proposed the new bill. Meles Zenawi's government claims that the new bill is meant to prevent external security threats. A number of Facebook groups have already been created to condemn the state-controlled telecommunication service provider.

  • (The Wall Street Journal, Friday, June 15, 2012)

    The Humble School, which serves needy children in a part of Africa ravaged by poverty and HIV, is on the front lines of an effort to reinvent developing world literacy programs with technology. The premise is that the new economics of digital publishing might make more and better books available in classrooms like Mr. Opio's.

  • (Committee to Protect Journalists, Friday, June 15, 2012)

    A new law in Ethiopia imposes prison sentences for offenses related to the independent use of telecommunications tools and services, according to local journalists and news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by broad and vaguely worded provisions of the law, under which journalists could be prosecuted for the methods they use to circumvent government surveillance and censorship.

  • (All Africa, Thursday, June 14, 2012)

    ANHRI is concerned over the hasty trial of Mohamed Sokrate, Moroccan famous blogger, that has begun early June. The Moroccan government should stop the trial, release Sokrate, and re-investigate the charges against him. On May 28th, the Moroccan authorities arrested Sokrate in his house on charges of "drug trafficking and possessing". He was hastily referred to trial on June 7th, and the Court of First Instance in Marrakesh adjourned the verdict to June 15th at the request of the defence. It is worth noting that Sokrate is known for his bold comments and writings against the monarchy and the movements of political Islam. He is also a member in the February 20th opposition youth movement.

  • (Tech Central, Thursday, June 14, 2012)

    Ethiopia’s state-owned Internet service provider, the Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation (Ethio-Telcom), has begun performing deep-packet inspection of all Internet traffic in the country. The country’s government recently ushered in new legislation that criminalises the use of services such as Skype, Google Talk and other forms of Internet phone calling. The new law, which came into effect on 24 May, makes use of Internet voice services punishable by hefty fines and up to 15 years in prison.

  • (All Africa, Thursday, June 14, 2012)

    Media freedom in South Africa has been receiving bad press recently, although most of the attention has focussed on threats to print and broadcasting freedom. Little attention has been paid to creeping censorship of the supposedly most democratic medium of all, namely the Internet. Over the past ten years, the government has developed a complex web of controls that has made Internet censorship much more possible. Many legislative measures lie dormant, only to emerge when they are needed to curb controversial content.

  • (http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/06/why-africa-embraces-cloud-computing/, Tuesday, June 12, 2012)

    Take Africa, for instance, where an emerging information technology industry is betting its future on serving customers and businesses through mobile cloud applications. At the same time, governments and non-governmental organizations are betting that cloud-based technology can help transform their economies and societies, spurring improvements in education, public health, and the environment.

  • (Africa Review, Monday, June 11, 2012)

    Kenya has prepared itself to fight cyber crime in a stricter way than ever before by introducing a new internet monitoring device. Installed by the Kenya’s Communication Commission (CCK), the monitoring device will help in detection and prevention of cyber-crime cases across the East African country.

  • (Reporters Without Borders, Thursday, June 7, 2012)

    Ethiopia’s only ISP, state-owned Ethio-Telecom, has just installed a system for blocking access to the Tor network, which lets users browse anonymously and access blocked websites. At the same time, the state-owned printing presses are demanding the right to censor the newspapers they print. Reporters Without Borders is very worried by these attempts to reinforce government control of news and information.

  • (The Guardian, Wednesday, June 6, 2012)

    Secrecy laws planned for South Africa fundamentally threaten free speech and investigative journalism, and could have a chilling effect on the rest of Africa, a united front of human rights lawyers, newspaper editors and Nobel prize-winning writers have warned in interviews with the Guardian. The protection of state information bill – dubbed the "secrecy bill" – envisages draconian penalties of up to 25 years in prison for whistleblowers and journalists who possess, leak or publish state secrets. It has been described as the first piece of legislation since the end of apartheid in 1994 to undermine South Africa's democracy.

  • (The Guardian, Wednesday, June 6, 2012)

    In coming months, the South African protection of state information bill is likely to be passed by MPs and signed into law by President Jacob Zuma. Known as the "secrecy bill", it has been described as a draconian measure that will allow the governing African National Congress (ANC) to cover up corruption and send whistleblowers and journalists to jail for up to 25 years.

  • (The Tor Project, Thursday, May 31, 2012)

    The Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation, which happens to be the sole telecommunication service provider in Ethiopia, has deployed or begun testing Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) of all Internet traffic. The Tor Project has previously analyzed the same kind of censorship in China, Iran, and Kazakhstan. Reports show that Tor stopped working a week ago -- even with bridges configured. Websites such as https://gmail.com/, https://facebook.com/, https://twitter.com/, and even https://torproject.org/ continue to work.

  • (National Democratic Institute , Monday, May 14, 2012)

    Africa is quickly becoming an I(C)T hub, with Kenya in particular in the news lately. For this week's roundup, we're focusing on technology in Africa, so check out the articles we've been reading

  • (Global Voices, Sunday, May 13, 2012)

    On Wednesday, 9 May, 2012, netizens who flock to various citizen-run Zambian news website,s such as Zambian Watchdog and Tumfweko, were met with “page not available” or messages to similar effect. As frustrating at not accessing the websites that have come to be known for their expose stories as it was, the non-technical readers dismissed it as one of those things the internet threw at you once in a while. A day after the glitch, Zambian Watchdog reported that its website was a target of a sustained attack allegedly by the PF government.

  • (Reporters Without Borders, Monday, May 7, 2012)

    Reporters Without Borders calls on Libya’s interim parliament, the National Transitional Council (NTC), to repeal the law criminalizing any “insult to the Libyan people and its institutions” that it adopted on 2 May. “This law contravenes the interim constitutional provisions that the NTC adopted and the international law to which it is subject,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Criminalizing certain opinions, going so far as to make them punishable by imprisonment, endangers freedom of expression and information, especially as the law’s criteria are vague and imprecise and leave a great deal of room for arbitrary interpretation.

  • (Insights Africa, Sunday, May 6, 2012)

    InsightsAfrica is an interactive tool providing critical data about the online behavior of urban consumers in six key African markets: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda.

  • (Reporters Without Borders, Thursday, April 26, 2012)

    Reporters Without Borders is very worried to learn that access to the Amharic website of Ethiopia’s leading independent, privately-owned weekly, The Reporter, has been blocked for the past five days. The reason for the blocking is unclear and Reporters Without Borders urges the authorities to provide an explanation. “Everything indicates that the blocking is being carried by the state-owned company Ethio-Telecom, since it is Ethiopia’s only Internet Service Provider,” the press freedom organization said.