Catégorie

Liberté d'Internet

Uganda Communications Commission’s New Regulations Encourage Self-Censorship (Open Letter)

Par | Plaidoyer, Liberté d'Internet

We, the members of the NetRights Coalition, have noted with great concern, the Public Notice issued by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) on  September 7, 2020  “advising all persons currently offering or planning to commence the provision of online data communication and broadcasting services including but not limited to blogs, online televisions, online radios, online newspapers, audio over IP (AoIP), Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), Video on Demand (VoD), Digital Audio radios and televisions, internet/web radio and interview/web television, to obtain authorization from UCC before providing such services to the public." This process of registration has the adverse effect of deterring bloggers from blogging, promoting self censorship and stifling media practitioners who work to exercise their mandate of disseminating information. 

The NetRights Coalition is a network of organizations with a shared  vision of promoting digital rights in Africa. Our concern is premised on that any law requiring a blogger to register for the purpose of regulating bloggers is an attack on freedom of expression and inconsistent with the spirit and provisions of Article 29 of the Constitution of Uganda, 1995, Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and and Political Rights and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which guarantee the right to freedom of expression; including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art or through any other media of his choice.

We regret that the notice is an affront to the freedom of the media and the freedom of expression in Uganda both of which form the foundation of a liberal and civilized society. It is our considered view that if the UCC is concerned about the regulation of communication services in Uganda, there are various ways through which the same can be achieved without jeopardizing the rights and freedoms accorded to the people of Uganda by the country’s supreme law – the Constitution.

While we appreciate and recognise the statutory mandate of the Uganda Communications Commission, which among others, entails licensing, regulating and setting standards for the provision of all communication services in Uganda, we are deeply concerned that the Commission has issued such a notice unilaterally and without proper consultations, public participation and involvement of key stakeholders. According to Principle 17(4) of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in November 2019, “a multi-stakeholder model of regulation shall be encouraged to develop shared principles, rules, decision-making procedures and programmes to shape the use and evolution of the internet.” 

We join other stakeholders and the people of the Republic of Uganda in condemning this citizen-unfriendly order and hereby urge you to unconditionally withdraw this order and initiate a stakeholder engagement process. Embracing  a multi-stakeholder approach that allows for input from different stakeholders will ensure a policy that while fulfilling stated objectives, also promotes freedom of expression and privacy of vulnerable groups including women, persons with disabilities (PWDs), etc.

Signed By:

  1. African Academic Network on Internet Policy
  2. Initiative Paradigm
  3. Women of Uganda Network
  4. Civil Society Advocacy Network on Climate Change and the Environment Sierra Leone 
  5. 5.Rwanda Youth Clubs for Peace Organization.
  6. ASUTIC Senegal
  7. TechHer
  8. Give1 Project Gambia
  9. Centre for Legal Support, The Gambia
  10. African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms Coalition

Appel à co-auteurs

Par | Plaidoyer, Droits numériques, DigitalJobs, Politique de TIC, TIC, Liberté d'Internet, LA VIE

Un rapport sur les droits numériques et l’inclusion en Afrique

Contexte

Paradigm Initiative (PIN) est une entreprise sociale qui construit un système de soutien basé sur les TIC et milite pour les droits numériques afin d’améliorer les moyens de subsistance des jeunes mal desservis. À travers ses équipes, partenaires et réseaux à travers le continent africain, PIN surveille l’état des droits numériques et de l’inclusion en Afrique et intervient avec des programmes et des actions qui répondent le mieux aux défis. L’écosystème numérique en Afrique est marqué par des violations des droits numériques que PIN a bien identifiées dans ses rapports sur les droits numériques en Afrique et a fait l’objet de délibérations mondiales sur des plateformes régionales et internationales telles que DRIF, le Forum sur la gouvernance de l’internet et RightsCon.

Grâce à la communauté des droits numériques et de l’inclusion, les initiatives de plaidoyer changent le paysage numérique en garantissant que les meilleures pratiques sont adoptées dans les politiques et la législation en Afrique. Des progrès significatifs sont en cours dans certains pays africains pour combler le fossé numérique et méritent d’être reconnus. Dans ce contexte, il est pertinent que le PIN documente les droits numériques et les violations d’inclusion, souligne les jalons et formule des recommandations pour améliorer le paysage numérique en Afrique.

Paradigm Initiative sollicite les services de chercheurs sur les droits numériques et l’inclusion en Afrique pour être co-auteurs d’un rapport continental annuel sur les droits numériques et l’inclusion. Chaque chercheur retenu fera rapport sur un pays spécifique. Paradigm Initiative versera une allocation de 800 USD au chercheur pour un travail achevé et soumis de manière satisfaisante.

Justification et portée du rapport

PIN cherche à compiler le rapport annuel 2020 qui donne une analyse approfondie de l’état des droits numériques et de l’inclusion en Afrique en examinant les violations, les lacunes, en enquêtant sur l’utilisation et l’application des politiques et de la législation, ainsi qu’en formulant des recommandations clés pour faire progresser les droits numériques et l’inclusion en Afrique. Le rapport dégagera également des thèmes clés à débattre lors du prochain DRIF21 et mettra en évidence les domaines d’intervention exceptionnels.

Méthodologie

Le rapport comprendra des rapports spécifiques aux pays bien documentés qui sont référencés et soumis par les auteurs des membres de son équipe et de la communauté des droits numériques et de l’inclusion. L’étude des pays adoptera une approche multiforme, combinant des méthodes empiriques et de recherche documentaire pour évaluer à la fois les aspects quantitatifs et qualitatifs des droits numériques et de l’inclusion en Afrique.

Contenu attendu

Les rapports nationaux doivent inclure un contexte et un historique; identifier et discuter des domaines d’évaluation thématiques, se référer à tout cadre juridique, politique et institutionnel du pays et faire des recommandations. Les rapports nationaux peuvent inclure, sans s’y limiter, l’un des domaines d’évaluation thématique suivants;

  • Impact de la réglementation COVID-19 sur les droits numériques et l’inclusion.
  • Jouissance de la liberté d’expression en ligne en 2020
  • Protection des données, confidentialité, identifiants numériques et surveillance
  • Coupures d’Internet
  • Lois sur le discours haineux, la désinformation et la diffamation criminelle
  • L’exclusion numérique en Afrique et son impact sur les droits humains
  • Infrastructure numérique et hiérarchisation des TIC.

Expertise et qualification requises

  • Bonne connaissance du pays sur lequel portera le rapport ;
  • Un diplôme pertinent.
  • Expertise, connaissances et expérience des droits numériques et de l’inclusion.
  • Ligne directrice pour les articles
  • Longueur acceptable du rapport de pays : 1500 mots
  • Anglais ou français.
  • Les auteurs doivent s’assurer que tous les statistiques, faits et données sont correctement référencés.
  • Un seul rapport de pays par chercheur sera accepté.

Les candidats intéressés, veuillez soumettre une réponse accompagnée d’une copie de votre CV et d’un échantillon de travail écrit d’ici le 19 septembre 2020 ici. Les délais complets seront communiqués aux candidats retenus. Les réponses seront communiquées le 1er octobre 2020.

Call for Co-Authors

Par | Plaidoyer, Droits numériques, DigitalJobs, Politique de TIC, TIC, Liberté d'Internet, LA VIE

A Report on Digital Rights and Inclusion in Africa

Background

Paradigm Initiative (PIN) is a social enterprise that builds an ICT-enabled support system and advocates for digital rights in order to improve livelihoods for under-served youth. Through its teams, partners and networks across the African continent, PIN monitors the state of digital rights and inclusion in Africa and intervenes with programs and actions that best respond to the challenges.  The digital ecosystem in Africa is marked by digital rights violations which PIN has aptly captured in its Digital Rights in Africa reports as well as been subject for global deliberations at regional and international platforms such as DRIF, Internet Governance Forum, and RightsCon.

Through the digital rights and inclusion community, advocacy initiatives are changing the digital landscape ensuring best practices are adopted into policy and legislation in Africa. The meaningful strides being taken in some African countries to bridge the digital divide are worth acknowledging.  With this background, it is pertinent that PIN documents digital rights and inclusion violations, highlights milestones and makes recommendations for improving the digital landscape in Africa.

Paradigm Initiative seeks the services of researchers on digital rights and inclusion from within Africa to be co-authors of an annual continental report on digital rights and inclusion. Each successful researcher will report on a specific country. Paradigm Initiative will pay a stipend of USD $800 to the researcher for work satisfactorily completed and submitted.

Rationale and Scope of the report

PIN seeks to compile the 2020 annual report that gives an in-depth analysis of the state of digital rights and inclusion in Africa by examining violations, gaps, investigating the use and application of policy and legislation as well as draw key recommendations for advancing digital rights and inclusion in Africa. The report will also draw key themes for deliberation at the upcoming DRIF21 and highlight outstanding areas for intervention.

Methodology

The report will comprise of well-researched country specific reports which are referenced and submitted by authors from its team members and digital rights and inclusion community. The study of the countries will take a multifaceted approach, combining empirical and desk-research methods to assess both quantitative and qualitative aspects of digital rights and inclusion in Africa.

Expected Content

Country Reports must include a context and background; identify and discuss the thematic assessment areas, refer to any in-country legal, policy and institutional framework and make recommendations. The country reports may include and not limited to any of the following thematic assessment areas;

  • Impact of COVID-19 Regulations on digital rights and inclusion.
  • Enjoyment of Freedom of Expression online in 2020
  • Data Protection, Privacy, Digital IDs and Surveillance
  • Internet Shutdowns
  • Hate Speech, Misinformation and Criminal Defamation Laws
  • Digital exclusion in Africa and its impact on human rights
  • Digital infrastructure and prioritization of ICT.

 Required expertise and qualification

  • Good understanding of the country to be reported on;
  • A relevant degree qualification.
  • Expertise, knowledge, and experience in digital rights and inclusion.

Guideline for Articles

  • Acceptable Length of Country Report: 1500 words
  • English or French.
  • Authors to please ensure that all statistics, facts and data are properly referenced.
  • Only 1 country report per researcher will be accepted.

Interested candidates, kindly submit a response together with a copy of your resume and sample written work by 19 September 2020 ici. Full timelines will be communicated to successful candidates. Responses will be communicated on 1 October 2020.

BudgIT, EiE and Paradigm Initiative Host 4th New Media, Citizens, and Governance Conference

Par | Liberté d'Internet, Communiqué de presse

BudgIT, Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE Nigeria) and Paradigm Initiative (PIN) will hold the fourth edition of the bi-annual pan-African New Media, Citizens, and Governance Conference (NMCG) virtually on October 20 and 21, 2020. The organizers made this known in a press statement issued on Wednesday, August 20th, two months to the conference.

Africa’s civic space is evolving with the application of new technologies and methods to strengthen advocacy and foster active citizenship. The emergence of new media has also impacted on new organisations that are reaching out to citizens to demand accountability from the government with results and these three organizations have effectively used new media to drive social impact, creating societal change across different contexts.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, leveraging technology has become the norm and it’s appropriate that a conference focused on new media will be virtual this year. The two-day virtual conference will hold from Tuesday, October 20 – Wednesday, October 21 with the theme New Media & Voice: Hashtags, Action & People. The conference will have 3 breakout sessions focused on freedom of speech, the digital economy, virtual public hearings, #StateOfEmergencyGBV and others.

According to BudgIT’s Director, Oluseun Onigbinde, “Our reality is changing, and the pandemic has led to the emergence of a new culture of engagement in all spheres of life including civic and political matters. There are other salient issues that are spin-offs from the pandemic.

One of these includes the recent gag on freedom of speech and expression by governments across the world, the rising cases of sexual and gender-based violence across Africa have also become a ‘shadow’ pandemic. The conference will provide a platform for analysts, policymakers, and citizens to discuss these issues from various perspectives with the purpose of proffering solutions and strategizing pathways to mitigate some of the challenges posed by the new normal.” he added.

Speaking on the development, Gbenga Sesan, the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative (PIN) said, “Although the pandemic has forced a new way of life for everyone, we must not lose sight of critical issues that affect how we engage in the digital age. Clampdowns and violations of citizen’s digital rights heightened during the lockdowns. The only way to preserve the rights and ability of citizens to use digital platforms for either activism or economic survival is to continue to assert the importance of these rights as a precondition to the desired gains of a digital economy for most Africa nations.”

The reports from the 2012 Conference {Tools and Trends}; #NMCG2016 Conference {Rights and Responsibilities} and 2018 Conference {Government, New Media and Civic Space} can be viewed on the website, www.newmediagov.ng. More information on the 2020 Conference will be available there as well.

BudgIT is a civic organization that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement, to facilitate societal change. A pioneer in the field of social advocacy melded with technology, BudgIT uses an array of tech tools to simplify the budget and matters of public spending for citizens, with the primary aim of raising standards of transparency and accountability in government.

Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE) is a movement of knowledgeable citizens that ensure our leaders serve us. EiE launched the concept of the #OfficeOfTheCitizen as part of its 5th anniversary activities in 2015 to educate Nigerians on their rights and responsibilities. EiE’s #RSVP – Register/Select/Vote/Protect is a key voter education campaign. EiE was an integral part of the #OccupyNigeria movement in 2012 and is very active in the #OpenNASS campaign. 2020 is EiE’s 10th anniversary and it’s driving the #OnePerson campaign to reinforce its belief that one person can make a difference in building a better society.

Paradigm Initiative (PIN) is a social enterprise that builds ICT-enabled support systems and advocates for digital rights in order to improve the livelihoods of under-served young Africans. The organisation’s digital inclusion programs include a digital readiness school for young people living in under-served communities (LIFE) and a software engineering school targeting high potential young Nigerians (Dufuna). Both programs have a deliberate focus to ensure equal participation for women and girls.

For more information about this statement, please contact: media@paradigmhq.org

Kill Switch: Will Tanzania #KeepItOn during the upcoming election?

Par | Droits numériques, Liberté d'Internet

Dar es Salaam. Digital rights activists in Tanzania are concerned that as the country heads to a general election later this year, on October 28, the government may opt to restrict the use of the internet, especially social media, and thus risk the violation of basic rights of its people like the freedom of expression.  

Social networks, mainly Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram, have become popular discussion forums where Tanzanians, within the country and abroad, make use of them to share their opinions on various issues including how the country is being and holding the government to account.  

It is expected that more than at any other time in the history of Tanzania’s politics, social media will play a significant role in the upcoming elections, something that has made digital rights activists and other stakeholders in the country to be worried that the government may choose to limit that role by taking measures seen taken by other governments across Africa: shutting down the internet. 

Tanzania does not have a legislation that gives the government power to shut down the internet. However, the Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations, 2020 give the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) power to order service providers to block or filter content if the TCRA deems such a content is prohibited, says a human rights lawyer Daniel Marari during an interview recently.  

“The way it works is that the law allows TCRA to delegate censorship powers and powers of content removal to service providers. It can direct service providers, or internet service providers, to filter and block access to certain services/websites or remove certain content. If they don’t comply, they risk being penalised,” says Mr Marari, adding: “[This is] an indirect way of blocking access to online content or services.”

This fact raises concern to many people working on the ground on issues of digital safety and inclusion like Ms Zaituni Njovu, the Executive Director with Zaina Foundation, an organization that advocates for digital security and privacy. In an exclusive interview with us which took place at her office in Dar es Salaam earlier this month, Njovu, 30, thinks the government possibility to shutdown the internet is “very high” given the indicators already seen on the ground. 

“The indicators include the restriction on people’s freedom of expression and violation of a slew of other digital rights freedoms,” says Njovu. “More than once we have heard government officials complaining that social media are being used to spread ‘fake news.’ The government may not shut down the internet altogether as this will also affect them but it can shut the social media down.”  

It is within this context that the campaign #KeepItOnTZ was launched to make sure that the government does not shut the internet down as it can have unspeakable effects on people’s participation in the upcoming election. (Asked for his comment on how founded he thinks these concerns by digital rights activists are, TCRA director general James Kilaba chose not to comment). The following are the excerpts of the interview with Ms Njovu: 

Qn: First of all thanks for granting us this opportunity to speak with you on the digital rights landscape in Tanzania. Maybe, very briefly, and on behalf of our readers, can you explain what Zaina Foundation is and what was it founded for? 

Ans: Zaina Foundation was officially launched in 2017 in Arusha [Northern Tanzania] but moved to Dar es Salaam in 2019. We mainly work with women groups, especially journalists, on how they can ensure their safety while online, and we have so far carried out several projects to that effect. 

We also carry out several campaigns on digital rights because, really, Tanzania faces many challenges in that area. As part of our campaigns, we do translate into Kiswahili several tools and contents which aim at improving a person’s safety on the internet for we figured out that if many tools and content remain in foreign language it makes difficult for people to appreciate their values and uses. So far we have been able to make Signal application to be available in Kiswahili for Android users.  

Qn: You mentioned that when it comes to digital rights and freedoms there are many challenges that face Tanzania. Do you mind expounding on that and tell us what exactly are these challenges? 

Ans: Honestly, Tanzania doesn’t fare well in the area of people’s digital rights and freedoms. People’s freedom of expression and participation online is very low in Tanzania compared with other countries. There are two actors to be blamed for their responsibility in that. First, are the government’s authorities that have been denying people their rights either through rhetorical threats ou the enactment of laws and regulations that violate those rights. 

The second actor is the internet service providers, or cellular networks, which restrict people’s online participation by charging exorbitant fees to internet users in the country. The cost of internet bundles in Tanzania is very high. (A technology think tank, Research ICT Africa, however, names Tanzania to have the cheapest internet charges in East Africa, followed by Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda). But even when someone forces themselves to buy those bundles the bundles fail to work as it was advertised. You may be told that a particular bundle lasts one week but expires in less than one hour and you don’t even know how that happened. And you don’t even have any place to ask if that happens.     

There is also another issue. You can afford the cost of internet bundles and it may last as it was advertised but the internet can be very slow to the extent that you are unable to do your work online. All these contribute to limit people’s rights and freedoms while online. These challenges and others discourage people from exercising their rights online and have contributed to the current situation now observed in Tanzania.

Qn: The government, through the TCRA, recently released the Electronic and Postal Communications (SIM Card Registration) Regulations, 2020 which directed, among other things, a person is not allowed to possess more than one SIM card which caused much confusion among mobile phone users. What do you think really happened and what’s your take on that move? 

Ans: Basically the government wants everyone to have one SIM card. This is wrong and unacceptable in so many ways but but important of all is that it violates people’s freedom of communication. Because if I can afford having five SIM cards, why shouldn’t I? 

Qn: What do you think motivated the government to pursue that course? 

Njovu: There is something called surveillance and censorship. Currently, this is a major problem in the country: being surveilled everytime so that you can be censored. Tanzania introduced biometric mandatory SIM card registration the main purpose being to be able to survey its people. Because this is the goal, it becomes easy to accomplish it if everyone uses one SIM card.

The government itself defends the move by saying that it helps curb crime, and it is true that cybercrime is rife and there are cases of being scammed through mobile phones. But this doesn’t refute the fact that surveillance violates our rights and freedoms, both as citizens and human beings. 

Qn:Do you believe the government when it claims that the reason why it surveils and censors its people is because it wants to curb crime? 

Ans: No, I don’t. It is true that one of the advantages [of surveillance] is curbing crime. But you have to know that there is the issue of privacy too. When you surveil someone [in their communications] it becomes a violation of their privacy. I’m supposed to have my own privacy and my communications should be all mine and there should be no one to interfere with them.

Qn: In an environment like this, how do you assess Tanzanians’ awareness of their digital rights and freedoms? 

Ans: Awareness is very low. This is due to the fact that the issue of online security has got very few stakeholders in Tanzania who advocate for it and demand safer and secure digital experience. We at Zaina Foundation partner with actors mainly from Kenya and Uganda because we are very few in Tanzania, almost none. What is needed now is to work in raising the level of awareness in our people and cultivate their interests in these issues. 

Qn: As far as the issue of digital rights and freedoms is concerned, what Tanzania would you like to see in the period of ten years from now? 

Ans: Actually it is not ten years to come, but right now we as an organization want Tanzania whose people are free and safe while using the internet. We want to reach a stage when one is being accused of spreading ‘fake news’ another person should come forward to correct him/her or he/she should be told to correct it and not put him/her behind bars. The government, Internet Services Providers (ISPs) and Civil Societies Organizations (CSOs), and society in general, as important stakeholders in ensuring this, have a unique and significant role to play in turning Tanzania into a safer and freer country to internet users. 

The author of this article, Khalifa Said, is a Paradigm Paradigm Initiative 2020 Digital Rights and Inclusion Media Fellow. He is a freelance investigative journalist based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and he formerly worked at The Citizen and Mwananchi newspapers. 

Le forum FIFAfrica 2020 sera co-organisé par CIPESA & Paradigm Initiative

Par | Liberté d'Internet, Communiqué de presse

La septième édition du Forum annuel sur la liberté d’Internet en Afrique (FIFAfrica) se tiendra du 28 au 30 septembre 2020. FIFAfrica20 est co-organisé par The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) et Paradigm Initiative (PIN).

Cet événement historique réunit un éventail d’acteurs intervenant dans tous les domaines de la gouvernance de l’Internet et des droits numériques en Afrique et au-delà . Ils réflechiront sur les difficultés liées au développement du secteur, les préoccupations et les opportunités pour mieux protéger la vie privée, la liberté d’expression et garantir la diversité et la libre circulation de l’information en ligne.

Le partenariat CIPESA-Paradigm Initiative sur FIFAfrica20 s’appuie sur l’engagement de longue date des deux organisations à faire progresser les droits numériques en Afrique. Cette collaboration est l’expression de la vision commune d’un continent qui respecte, protège et promeut les droits numériques et s’efforce de garantir que personne ne soit laissée pour compte sur le plan numérique.

Face aux réalités qu’impose la pandémie de la Covid-19, FIFAfrica20 adoptera une approche hybride qui allie les interactions virtuelles et physiques. Au cours de trois jours, l’agenda FIFAfrica20 sera meublé de rencontres en présentielle et en ligne, y compris des événements parallèles dans certains pays avec la diffusion de contenus virtuels pré-enregistrés.

Toutes les interactions respecteront les procédures opérationnelles normalisées (SOP) nationales. Pendant ce temps, la diffusion en continu sur le Web et les réseaux sociaux seront utilisés pour atteindre le public diversifié désireux de participer au Forum.

Ces mesures aideront FIFAfrica à continuer d’être une plate-forme attentive aux défis croissants de la jouissance de la liberté d’Internet dans divers pays africains. Elle demeure attachée à lutter contre les arrestations et l’intimidation des internautes et condamnera toujours les perturbations d’Internet et la prolifération de lois et de réglementations qui sapent le potentiel numérique du continent.
Toutes ces problématiques seront évoquées et débattues par les participants au forum.

En effet, alors que le coronavirus continue de se propager dans le monde, divers gouvernements africains ont imposé des mesures radicales telles que des interdictions de voyager, des couvre-feux, l’interdiction des rassemblements de masse, des quarantaines obligatoires, la fermeture des établissements d’enseignement, des lieux de divertissement et des frontières pour enrayer la pandémie. Certaines de ces mesures ont stimulé l’utilisation des technologies numériques, y compris les services financiers numériques et l’accès à Internet subventionné.

Cependant, malgré le potentiel de la technologie pour aider à contenir la propagation du coronavirus, Internet constitue également une menace importante pour lutter contre la pandémie. Dans de nombreux pays africains, les réseaux sociaux ont été inondés de spéculations et de fausses informations sur la Covid-19. Cette situation a abouti à l’adoption de normes législatives criminalisant la diffusion de fausses informations liées à la Covid-19. Dans certains pays, les réponses technologiques à la pandémie sont entachées de mesures régressives préexistantes telles que la fiscalité numérique et les perturbations d’Internet, qui continuent de compromettre l’accès à des informations cruciales et la jouissance des droits numériques.

Dans le même temps, on craint de plus en plus que les communautés minoritaires et marginalisées telles que les réfugiés et les personnes handicapées soient laissées pour compte dans l’accès aux informations sur la Covid-19. En effet, malgré l’expansion récente de l’utilisation des TIC, l’exclusion numérique persiste en raison d’un accès limité, du prix onéreux des outils TIC requis, et du manque de contenus dans des formats adaptés.

Cette année, FIFAfrica mènera des réflexions sur la manière dont les solutions et les restrictions gouvernementales liées au coronavirus nuisent à la jouissance des droits numériques, y compris le droit à la vie privée et à la protection des données personnelles, le droit d’accès à l’information et la liberté d’expression et d’association.

Les organisateurs de FIFAfrica reconnaissent que la liberté sur Internet a de multiples facettes et, tout comme elle nécessite d’avoir une multiplicité de parties prenantes travaillant conjointement, elle nécessite également une diversité dans les voix, les expériences, les points de vue et les domaines de travail thématiques de ceux qui fréquentent FIFAfrica.

Des efforts sont concentis pour inclure les communautés marginalisées et les groupes à risque présents, dans les panels, les ateliers et les thèmes des sessions. FIFAfrica place également la liberté sur Internet dans l’agenda des principaux acteurs, notamment les décideurs politiques africains, les régulateurs, les défenseurs des droits humains, les universités, les forces de l’ordre, les développeurs d’outils de liberté sur Internet et les médias, ouvrant la voie à un travail plus large sur la promotion des droits numériques sur le continent et la promotion du modèle multipartite de gouvernance de l’Internet.

L’hébergement d’un FIFAfrica hybride dans le cadre d’un partenariat entre CIPESA et PIN permet de rester réactif au paysage technologique en Afrique et d’élargir la conversation sur les droits numériques. FIFAfrica était initialement hébergé à Kampala, en Ouganda en 2014-2016. Depuis lors, sa croissante l’a amené à être hébergé à Johannesburg, en Afrique du Sud, en partenariat avec l’Association for Progressive Communications (APC) en 2017, et à Accra, au Ghana, en partenariat avec la Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) en 2018. En 2019, FIFAfrica était hébergé à Addis-Abeba, en Éthiopie, aux côtés du ministère éthiopien de l’innovation et de la technologie (MINT).

FIFAfrica20: Call For Proposals!

Par | Liberté d'Internet, Communiqué de presse

The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) and Paradigm Initiative (PIN) are pleased to announce the 2020 edition of the Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa (FIFAfrica20) and to invite session proposals. This landmark event convenes a spectrum of stakeholders from across the internet governance and digital rights arenas in Africa and beyond to deliberate on gaps, concerns and opportunities for advancing privacy, free expression, non-discrimination and the free flow of information online.

In light of the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, FIFAfrica20 will adopt a hybrid approach which blends online and physical interactions.

As such, we welcome session proposal applications including but not limited to:

  • In-country physical convenings of no more than 25 people as permitted and guided by Covid-19 in-country regulations.
  • Virtual sessions such as webinars, panel discussions, presentations, lightning talks.
  • Live social media engagements (Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Twitter Chats etc).
  • Pre-recorded materials such as short documentaries and podcasts.
  • Virtual exhibitions e.g. photography, digital stories, illustrative art, etc.

FIFAfrica 2020 will aim to livestream the successful sessions and to engage wider audiences via social media.

Subject to need and scope, limited funding is available to support coordination, technical and logistical aspects of successful session proposals. Cost-sharing and collaborative partnerships are strongly encouraged.

Please note the below important dates related to participation at the Forum:

  • Session proposals will be accepted till August 21, 2020
  • Successful session proposals will be directly notified by August 31, 2020.
  • Registration for participation will open August 31, 2020

Submit Your Session Proposal For #FIFAfrica20

Droits numériques en Afrique Francophone : les tendances du premier semestre 2020

Par | Plaidoyer, Liberté d'Internet

La forte apparition du Covid-19 en début d’année 2020 dans le monde a profondément changé le visage des droits numériques en Afrique en général, et dans les pays d’Afrique francophones en particulier. La question sur la protection des données personnelles, le contrôle des citoyens à travers des outils technologiques ultras modernes ou des violations diverses des droits de l’homme en ligne en raison du Covid-19 ont attiré l’attention des organisations de défense des droits numériques, notamment Paradigm Initiative et ses partenaires.

Les gouvernements d’Afrique Francophone ont initié des actions diverses en vue de lutter contre la pandémie en s’appuyant parfois sur l’espace numérique ; ce qui a donné flanc à certaines violations des droits numériques. Des violations enregistrées portent sur les arrestations des journalistes et activistes, des censures des utilisateurs en ligne, le contrôle de certains sites web. Aussi, la montée de la pandémie a accentué dans certains pays les fakes news, la désinformation et l’infodémie autour du Covid-19. 

La crise du Coronavirus a permis de révéler aussi que les gouvernements ont tendance à influencer les droits des utilisateurs en ligne en période de crise. Les périodes électorales enregistrent depuis quelques années de fortes perturbations de l’Internet et des violations diverses des droits numériques. Les gouvernements développent alors régulièrement des astuces pour violer les droits numériques dans les contextes électoraux normaux à des fins de positionnement politiques. 

C’est ainsi que nouveaux mécanismes de violations sont ainsi développés à travers des pratiques de surveillances et de contrôles de masse des populations connectées pour des causes spécifiques. Ces nouvelles approches de violations des droits numériques ont pour objectif de détourner l’attention des organisations de défense des droits et libertés numériques. L’opérationnalisation de ceci se fait avec la mise en place des lois sur la cybersécurité et la cybercriminalité, et dans certains contextes des lois sur le terrorisme. L’actualité sur les droits numériques ces six derniers mois de l’année 2020 dans la région montre les influences réelles. Les actions menées par les organisations de la société civile au niveau local, les organisations internationales sur la question des droits numériques ont été aussi multiformes. 

Le profil des droits numériques en Afrique Francophone depuis le début d’année 2020 a été marqué par deux périodes importantes. Dans les trois premiers mois de l’année, des cas de violations des droits numériques ont été répertoriés dans quelques pays, notamment au Togo pendant les élections du 22 février, en début mars en RDC et en Guinée. Au Benin, le début de l’année a marqué par l’affaire du journaliste Ignace Sossou, arrêté pour ces opinions en ligne. Le contexte des violations durant cette période est profondément marqué par de diverses élections sur cette partie du continent.

Aussi, pendant cette période, plusieurs ruptures du câble sous-marin WACS ont été signalées. Certains gouvernements ont justifié les perturbations d’Internet dans leur pays par cet incident. Dans l’analyse, les diverses coupures ont impacté la situation des droits numériques et la qualité de la fourniture Internet à plusieurs niveaux. Mais, comme d’habitude, des gouvernements en Afrique Francophone sont régulièrement des instigateurs des coupures d’Internet dans leur pays à des fins politiques, et surtout lors des échéances électorales.

Dans seconde période du trimestre, entre mars et juin 2020, les droits numériques ont été impactés avec l’apparition des premiers cas du Coronavirus dans la zone. La figure des droits numériques a été profondément modifiée en cette période, du fait des exigences en matière de gestion de crise sanitaire par les Etats. Aussi dans ce contexte, certains gouvernements ont montré bonne figure dans l’amélioration des droits numériques par une couverture adéquate du réseau et en limitant les fractures diverses de l’Internet comme en Algérie et au Rwanda pour ne citer que ces exemples.

De l’autre côté, la période de la crise a permis à d’autres gouvernements à travers diverses structures dans le domaine des télécoms de faire des ingérences dans les données personnelles, le contrôle des utilisateurs ou de certains malades du Covid-19 à l’aide des outils technologiques sans leur avis. La période de la crise est aussi marquée par la montée des lois et des prises de décision gouvernementale sur les fakes news et la montée de la désinformation, comme observée au Maroc et au Cameroun. Pour le cas du Niger, la loi sur l’interception des communications a été adoptée sans l’aval des députés de l’opposition pour son caractère liberticide.

En outre, le premier semestre de l’année 2020 a permis d’enregistrer une victoire importante dans le domaine des droits numériques. En effet en juin 2020, le tribunal sous-régional de la CEDEO basé au Nigéria a jugé les restrictions d’accès à Internet au Togo du 5 au 10 septembre et de nouveau du 19 au 21 septembre 2017, illégales. Le tribunal a statué que ces restrictions portaient atteinte au droit à la liberté d’expression et d’opinion, un champ clé aux droits numériques. Cette décision historique a permis de comprendre le travail de plaidoyer des organisations de la défense des droits numériques comme Paradigm Initiative, Access Now et autres… aux côtés des organisations locales en cas de violation des droits numériques de quelques formes que ce soient. 

Bien que les gouvernements et parfois les fournisseurs d’accès Internet utilisent de nouveaux mécanismes de violations des droits numériques, des organisations de défenses restent constantes face aux violations à travers diverses actions de plaidoyers, de campagnes et de dénonciation engagées au niveau local et international. 

L’auteur de cet article Rigobert Kenmogne est le responsable du programme “droits numériques” en Afrique Francophone 

Tanzania Digital Rights and Freedoms Bill takes shape

Par | Plaidoyer, Droits numériques, Liberté d'Internet, Communiqué de presse

Digital rights social enterprise, Paradigm Initiative, has concluded a two-day coalition workshop that brought together civil society groups, lawyers, bloggers, journalists, members of the academia in the United Republic of Tanzania. The two-day event took place at Holiday Inn in Dar es Salaam with the Tanzania participants coming together to discuss the state of digital rights in Tanzania with support from Paradigm Initiative that joined the meeting virtually. The workshop culminated in the drafting of a Digital Rights and Freedom Bill, 2020 for Tanzania. It is hoped that this Bill, inspired by Nigeria’s Digital Rights and Freedoms Bill, will be embraced by the Tanzanian parliament and regulatory authorities after the elections in 2020 and subsequently enacted into law.

It is noteworthy that the Bill presents liberal and progressive proposals which, if enacted into law, will definitely safeguard the digital rights and freedoms of all Tanzanians. The Bill seeks to fill the lacuna that exists in the current legal and institutional framework for digital rights protection in Tanzania and to offer more robust protection. Undoubtedly, it will not only be an auxiliary legislation to the Electronic and Postal Communications Act (EPOCA) and the Cyber-Crimes Act but also reinforce the existing internet-use regulations.

Paradigm Initiative Senior Program Manager, Adeboye Adegoke says the organisation hopes to keep the discussion going especially with other relevant stakeholders from Tanzania and with the Tanzanian government agencies such as the TCRA. “ The next step in the process is the sustained engagement of all relevant stakeholders in Tanzania, including the government to ensure that the bill that will be presented to the parliament represents the views of the people of Tanzanians”, Adeboye concluded.

Coalition statement on persistent arrests of journalists and threats on media freedoms in Zimbabwe

Par | Liberté d'Internet, Communiqué de presse

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe – [July 21, 2020] – As a global coalition of organisations and institutions defending and working to advance human rights in the digital age, we write to express great concern over the growing trend on threats on media freedoms and arrests of journalists and activists in Zimbabwe in recent months. These attacks bear no regard to Zimbabwe’s obligations to:

  • Article 19(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to protect the right to freedom of expression including freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice or through any media whatsoever;
  • Sections 61 and 62 of the Zimbabwean Constitution which guarantee freedom of expression and freedom of the media;
  • Sections 57, 58, and 59 of the Zimbabwean Constitution which ensure the rights to privacy, freedom of assembly and association and freedom to demonstrate and petition;

We  further wish to remind the Zimbabwean Government of its obligations to the following regional instruments on freedom of expression; African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, Windhoek Declaration , African Platform on Access to Information and the Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression.

We have noted in the last few days, the increase in random arrests, detentions and questioning of journalists and activists in the course of executing their duties. Specifically, in a space of seven days, we noted the arrest and detention of Hopewell Chin’ono – a respected journalist on July 20th, Jacob Ngarivhume- an opposition activist on July 20th and Blessed Mhlanga- a senior journalist on July 25. We are deeply concerned by the recent raid of the Journalist Mduduzi Mathuthu’s home and arbitrary arrest of his sister in connection with his whereabouts on July 30th 2020 ahead of a planned protest on the 31st of July 2020. These sustained attacks on journalists are a disregard for media freedoms.

We are cognizant of  the Press Briefing on Zimbabwe by the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Liz Throssell who expressed the UN concern over the arrests on 24 July 2020 condemning the suggestive acts that authorities in Zimbabwe are  using the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to clamp down on freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
We take note of the 44th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution A/HRC/44/L.18/Rev.1  which reaffirms that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular, the right to freedom of opinion and expression;

We, therefore, echo the  laid out guidelines laid out inof Principle 20(1) and (2) of the Declaration Of Principles On Freedom Of Expression And Access To Information In Africa (the Declaration) adopted by the African Commission On Human And Peoples’ Rights at its 65th Ordinary Session held From 21 October to 10 November 2019 In Banjul, Gambia that the government of Zimbabwe must guarantee the safety of journalists and other media practitioners and take measures to prevent attacks on journalists and other media practitioners, including murder, extra-judicial killing, torture and other forms of ill-treatment, arbitrary arrest and detention, enforced disappearance, kidnapping, intimidation, threats and unlawful surveillance undertaken by State and non-State actors.

We also wish to highlight 24 other attacks on media practitioners as documented by the MISA Zimbabwe between March 30th and July 21st  2020 when Zimbabwe went on lockdown. Since then, 3 other journalists were reportedly harassed by the State security agents in Zimbabwe as at 26 July 2020. Journalists including Frank Chikowore and Samuel Takawira are facing prosecution and charged with violating social distancing regulations after attempting to interview three opposition youth leaders who had been abducted and assaulted by alleged security force agents.

We urge the Government of Zimbabwe to cease this obvious clampdown on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly especially leading up to the planned July 31, 2020 protest action. We refer to the Ministerial statement dated July 25, 2020, issued by Minister of Information, Publicity & Broadcasting Services- Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa, that explicitly states that Hopewell Chin’ono was not arrested for exposing corruption but rather for “using his social media accounts to incite Zimbabweans to violently overthrow the Government”. We wish to remind the Zimbabwean authorities of the aforementioned rights of citizens to assemble and protest peacefully; and the duty of law enforcement officers to provide the necessary protection during such times.

We call for the Government of Zimbabwe to withdraw all malicious prosecutions against media practitioners and to release  Hopewell Chin’ono and Jacob Ngarivhume, and to drop all charges against Frank Chiktowore and Samuel Takawira.

Further, we call upon the Government of Zimbabwe, especially during this crucial time of the COVID-19 pandemic- a matter of life and death, to respect and guarantee media freedoms by ceasing the unfair and unjustified intimidation of journalists to silence dissent. In addition, to avoid using the cover of ‘violating lockdown restrictions’ to mount violent attacks on media practitioners, at a time when citizens depend on them for news and information.

 Signed: 

  1. AfroLeadership
  2. Afrotribune
  3. Association des Utilisateurs des TIC – ASUTIC, Senegal
  4. Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
  5. Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
  6. Centre for Impact Advocacy (CiA)
  7. Centre for Legal Support, Gambia
  8. Comité pour la protection des journalistes (CPJ)
  9. Equip Africa Integrated Development Initiative
  10. Gambia Cyber Security Alliance
  11. Liberia Information Technology Student Union
  12. Paradigm Initiative (PIN)
  13. Villes et Communes Magazine
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