Today Access Now releases a policy brief analyzing draft cybercrime laws in four African Union countries to help legislators meet human rights obligations as they craft laws under the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data. We urge all AU countries to ratify the convention, and to implement it in a way that … More Access Now brief: how African countries can shape cybercrime laws that protect rights
Peter Micek contributed to this post. Update 12/20/2016: Vodafone Group and Orange have confirmed the order from the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which specifically targets social networks that use Voice over internet protocol (VoIP), images, and video. Access Now has offered circumvention advice for users in the Congo in this post here … More Telcos warned against shutting down DR Congo networks
Peter Micek contributed to this post. The United Nations is holding the 11th annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) on December 6-9, 2016 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Access Now staff will be there to lead or participate in pre-events, workshops, and high-level meetings. We are also delivering the #KeepItOn petition that asks government leaders at IGF to … More Access Now at the 2016 Internet Governance Forum
On 05th July 2016, the Kenyan Senate ICT Committee published the Cyber Security and Protection Bill. This was followed by a public hearing on the same draft bill on 19th October, 2016. Here is a call for public input into the process: Please see below my prepared statement that I presented on key clauses: Ephraim … More Testimony about the Cyber Security and Protection Bill before before the Kenyan Senate ICT- Committee
Almost three years ago, I published a blogpost on CircleID titled “Internet Governance: Why Africa Should Take the Lead.” I argued that African Internet stakeholders use a ‘wait and see approach’ in matters as critical as Internet governance,” and that African voices are missing in key Internet governance discussion fora. Additionally, I suggested that some … More What steps can Africans take and lead in Internet governance and social justice?
Protests, internet shutdowns, deaths — and a new law that threatens digital rights when the people of Ethiopia need them most Ethiopia has issued a six-month state of emergency in the country following months of citizen protests. The state of emergency comes in an environment of increasing repression. Government forces have killed more than 500 … More What’s happening in Ethiopia and how can we protect human rights?
Only five days after the United Nations passed an historic resolution specifically condemning internet shutdowns, reports from Zimbabwe suggest that the government may have ordered WhatsApp blocked. Zimbabweans and local news outlets reported an internet shutdown in the context of massive social unrest. Thousands of people are protesting about bad governance and a collapsing economy … More Internet shutdown in Zimbabwe: what happened?
Access Now files comments on the regulations with Kenya’s Communications Authority Last week, Dennis Itumbi, the Kenyan Presidency State House Director for Digital and Diaspora Media, hinted that the Kenyan government was preparing a bill to regulate the use of the social media, with the aim of preventing hate speech. The announcement came as a … More Kenya: draft laws for the internet need redrafting
Peter Micek and Deji Olukotun contributed to this post. Today the government in Uganda blocked social media services in anticipation of the swearing-in ceremony for President Yoweri Museveni that will take place tomorrow. Uganda’s telecommunications regulator, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), confirmed the block, citing “national security” as the reason. This is the second time this … More Uganda blocks social media (again), harms human rights
Access Now recently submitted evidence on the digital rights records of both South Sudan (PDF) and Uganda (PDF) for the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The Universal Periodic Review is the cooperative process by which the Human Rights Council reviews the human rights records of all 193 U.N. member states. Our … More Helping African nations protect human rights online: UPR review
Kenya has had its reputation for protecting free expression tarnished over the past two years, due to its increasingly harsh and arbitrary enforcement of the highly controversial Section 29 of the Kenya Information and Communications Act (KICA). This section of the law has been used to jail journalists and bloggers for their communications. However, a … More Kenya’s KICA ruling: a beacon of hope for free expression in Africa
Peter Micek and Deji Olukotun contributed to this post. UPDATE 2/24/2016: The Uganda Communications Commission stated in a Facebook post on Tuesday that the blocking order comported with the Uganda Communications Act, and wrote “We truly regret the inconvenience all of you might have suffered.” This guarded apology is a thinly veiled admission that the … More Digital rights groups ask African Union, U.N. to take action on Uganda social media blackout