Uganda blocks social media (again), harms human rights

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

Helping African nations protect human rights online: UPR review

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’s KICA ruling: a beacon of hope for free expression in Africa

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

Digital rights groups ask African Union, U.N. to take action on Uganda social media blackout

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

Uganda blocks Twitter and Facebook on election day in latest internet shutdown

Deji Olukotun contributed to this post. The government of Uganda ordered telecommunications companies to block social media on Thursday as the country prepared to vote for national elections. Journalists recorded that Twitter and Facebook were blocked, but circumvention of the block was possible, in some instances, through the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). Leading … More Uganda blocks Twitter and Facebook on election day in latest internet shutdown

Telcos find backbone, deny Guinea’s request for users’ data

Peter Micek contributed to this post.  In contrast to U.S. telcos, African operators push back on rights-violating demands Three telecommunications companies in the west African nation of Guinea Conakry (formerly French Guinea) just said “no” to demands that they hand over all subscriber and call data. On January 6th, Guinea’s post and telecommunications regulator, the … More Telcos find backbone, deny Guinea’s request for users’ data

South Africa draft cybersecurity and cybercrime bill misses the mark

Drew Mitnick contributed to this post.  The South African government has closed a period of consultation on a draft cybersecurity and cybercrime bill that, as written, undermines the rights to privacy, lacks transparency, and chills cybersecurity research and online expression. Access Now provided written recommendations to the South African Department of Justice and Constitutional Development … More South Africa draft cybersecurity and cybercrime bill misses the mark

How are the African nations of Mauritania and Rwanda doing when it comes to human rights online?

Right now the United Nations Human Rights Council is holding its 23rd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) working group session (November 2nd-13th, 2015). 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. Here’s a look at the digital rights landscape … More How are the African nations of Mauritania and Rwanda doing when it comes to human rights online?

U.S. eases sanctions on tech exports to Sudan

This week the U.S. government issued a General License to provide internet users in Sudan with easier access to the web and a wide range of software, hardware, and services “incident to personal communications.” U.S. sanctions against Sudan have been in place since 1997, and previously made it illegal for U.S. companies or individuals to … More U.S. eases sanctions on tech exports to Sudan

Emerging threats in cybersecurity and data protection legislation in African Union countries

In January 2015, heads of state met at the 24th African Union Summit to discuss the “African Union Agenda 2063” with the goal of enabling “a continent on equal footing with the rest of the world as an information society.” The summit, which is attended by 54 African governments, occurred at a critical time for … More Emerging threats in cybersecurity and data protection legislation in African Union countries

Legal battle in Kenya set to determine country’s surveillance future

Access Now Policy Team and Drew Mitnick contributed to this post.  The High Court of Kenya has temporarily suspended the implementation of eight clauses of the Security Laws (Amendment) Act of 2014, which restricts the exercise of human rights in Kenya. In a challenge brought by Coalition for Reforms and Democracy and the Kenya National … More Legal battle in Kenya set to determine country’s surveillance future

Ignoring Protests, Kenya Parliament Approves Dangerous National Security Law

The parliament in Kenya approved a dangerous new national security law yesterday. The vote was first interrupted by protests outside the venue, and the debate became so contentious that parliament had to be stalled for 30 minutes after elected representatives tore up drafts of the bill and engaged in a physical fight. Rights groups including … More Ignoring Protests, Kenya Parliament Approves Dangerous National Security Law