African Union Moves Towards Gagging Free Speech Online

The 23rd African Union Heads of Government Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea starting on June 26, 2014, might adopt the African Union Convention on Security in Cyberspace and Personal Data Protection. Moses Karanja, in this article in AfricanHadithi, argues that this legislation might be a cover to limit online free speech in Africa:

The AU’s draft convention, seeking to secure online commerce requires full disclosure of identity information between contracting parties. This raises two issues: enforceability and privacy.

First, implementing these requirements will prove almost impossible for traders and their agents since acquisition, verification and safe storage are complicated processes demanding extra time and human resources. Second, promotion of online commerce requires striking a delicate balance between security and privacy. If a brick-and-mortar shop in Nairobi does not ask for my home address and tax PIN number, why should an online shop in Diblo Dibara, Indonesia ask for it?

1 comment

  • Nat Turner

    The online Freedom of Speech which should be curtailed is the “right” which some think they have to freely racially abuse others,
    this is particularly marked coming out of the “West” towards African people,
    at the same time “pillars” of the internet social media world, such as, Facebook & Twitter,
    harbor, support and encourage race hate groups,
    such as the Boeremag in Azania – South Africa who tried to bomb the late Nelson Mandela, start a race war, then run all “non Whites” out of the country and set up an all Whites state.
    Social network sites hosting support pages for Boeremag terrorists and the like is particularly irresponsible when one considers the amount of young people who patronize their sites, who are then continuously exposed to pernicious racism, on top of that Black African users must suffer the indignity of vile racism on the sites they use.
    I have started a petition called “Facebook-stop-hosting-terrorism” , google it and please sign and read up more on the blog at “natturner1” wordpress.
    The internet can be a great place to be, but the way things are going, those incapable of exercising social responsibility and those oozing with racism are going to be responsible for curtailing it’s freedom.

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