Information Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) on the Impact of Cyber Security and Cybercrime Laws Enacted by Southern African Governments on Media Freedom and Digital Rights

In 2023, Advancing Rights in Southern Africa (ARISA) through its consortium partner, Internews, undertook the most comprehensive review yet of laws affecting media practice and the freedom of expression, including cyber laws, penal codes, constitutions and acts of parliament, in the sixteen Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. The result was a thorough 450-page tome. That work has been distilled into this Summary Report.

This report, as well as the comprehensive research document it is distilled from, is meant to give the reader an objective picture of the state and impact of cybersecurity laws on media and civic freedoms in SADC. For ease of use, the Summary Report does not include the extensive copies of the laws under review, references, citations and case studies. It is best read in consultation of the comprehensive Information Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) report, which is publicly available for download here. Additionally, links to the individual full-country chapters are provided in the summary chapters.