African Elections and Social Media Shutdowns

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African Elections and Social Media Shutdowns
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Africa has the largest growth of Internet distribution in the world but some governments still have a long way to go in respecting access to the Internet as a democratic right. This panel will discuss how Governments in Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe Regulate Online Communication and expose the nature and implications of the legal and sometimes illegal ways governments use to regulate social media and the strategies developed by Internet activists to react to them.
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and thank you so much I
work from my 1st like to our social media shut shutdowns and election in Africa and I would like to start by telling you that we all
know that Africa is not a country it's a continent so I'm sorry for this title uh but we 3 uh different panelists from 3 different African countries so which do our best to to show what's happening on the African continent and during the elections when it comes to media shut My name is Erik system actually and the director off Castaneda Africa which use the media program of the crowd undemolished of for Sub-Saharan Africa is the foundation's man that's true supports democracies around the world and them as part of that we obviously also supporting the media which are very poor important player uh when it comes to being the watchdogs of democracies especially on the African continent before I introduce the panelists and I would like to start by giving a little bit of background on the project which is connected to this panel here it's basically a cooperation between the cannot ordinal Foundation and report become and uh the project I would like to tell you a little bit about this Africa blocking it if the network of uh 18 African bloggers from our and political bloggers uh which are giving maybe we can call it an eternity view on what's happening in politics and society and in several African countries um as some of you might know and the media landscape in quite a few African countries it's not as good as we would like it to be and that even influenced by governments um it's heavily corrupted so sometimes from the brown
envelope phenomenon and and there are some of the media horses are just not financially sustainable and during the son of a slow trend as we would like them to be so what we see as test media Africa is that social media activists and bloggers people Twitter the Facebook users has become a very relevant voice in those countries and in order to give the ternatives user says that before that to help people build their own opinion and to get access to
information and we decided to create this network in order to make those bloggers more visible and to support them with training workshops and so on for now it's mainly active in southern Africa and Eastern Africa uh but will add a few Western African bloggers posts and them in the course of the year so I would like to invite all of you to visit the website Africa blocking what ought to learn a bit a little bit more about our blog assemble
the stories that they share on that platform and blogging has been only maybe you can call it a gray area for many years now in Sub-Saharan Africa where many Governments didn't take bloggers too seriously 1st as a of public your course but by now although the situation has changed quite a bit and governments are rather trying to control the social media here and we would get into that during our discussions and but the most visible point may be and where you can really see that both governments try to control the social media space space is around elections right now and where the social media services are just
shut our uh maybe for 72 hours around an election and the government say this was being done in order to keep quiet to keep peace and to avoid any of those and but of course it's also um and in mainly and it's a big caps for for media freedom and meant for the exchange of opinion so I'm very very happy that we're free uh Africa blogging bloggers with us today and to discuss this
phenomenon and also to to broaden the discussion a little bit and around to blogging and the legal situation and in several African countries and I would like to have during a major on 20 minutes before we end up so if you have any questions and I would like to ask you to save them out for most lost 20 minutes and then I will hand over the mike to to to to the audience and I hope we will have a good discussion um about the input that you get from the progress and I would like to invite you to the stage we start with a rule I mentioned about from Uganda rooms please join us if rules is the journalist blogger and social media trainer and and apart from her own blog she's writing for youth of Africa future challenges and also for profit for several projects of the daughter had topics are tax society politics have gender and youth was inspected in planning the 2nd the blog I would like to announce this uh Daniel problem in their from Kenya
few then it actually runs several blocks and also as a lifestyle block but none the less likely it is installed in the union models where a me is a blogger and the radio journalists there and it's not based in Nairobi which might surprise because now we have to come to the the half for for ICT and it's blocking developments in Eastern Africa uh but the up and analysts in Kisumu which is a city with half a million citizens and
explicatory Victoria invest in Kenya and and the panelists in around is to cooler and as a from Zimbabwe to correct the few years of journalist and blogger I think this is also something we can discuss what is a
journalist publisher blogger worst line so this journalist and blogger and from Zimbabwe publishing for just your and and the South African weekly Mail and Guardian uh
so very uh very much quality publication and contributing to welcome to the pen thank you OK let's let's switch back um for a little more than 2 months and February 18 um elections in Uganda and national elections the President of Uganda and uh dividends have been Mussolini is in power since 1986 so when the 1st Republic out of place and he was already 20 years in power and so quite a long time months and then we talk about being ready to vote to fulfill your democratic unity and but at the same time you wanted to start a social this and so then what happened with the the the so as the 18th away 26 then we went to the polls as country Uganda and what happened was the we had anticipated obviously that will be a little Social Media
actions because um way back in 2011 when we had the other elections there wasn't that much to meet you online there remember it was just a handful of young people that well into it and we decided to use to hashtags you gonna decided began of what's just so that would the was the was the women but what what and the known what was going well where because what usually happens is people need the city center to go and what's not only in their villages so it's 1 of those long trips that you take and just so you can go and connect to the people back at home so what happened was we had last and leading to the elections get to that of Internet activity and I remember the highest being the 2nd presidential debates we had 2 presidential debates i on TV and the 2nd 1 which had about 190 8 thousand tweets at a certain time and that had never happened in Uganda obviously and we also had so many conversations on we have social media Geneva an election for Uganda like he did with Nigeria as we had seen in the months before and so was really I anticipation so 18th away um I remember being at home and the hoping that I wouldn't we can and go online and will to see what people are saying and where they're of watching from and what is going God and back it wasn't working and I had and is the interlamellar goes in 2011 we had no voice and medical text status because that looks just slow them down you know if it if it happens and it happens a lot Christmas as well because so many people travel and so much the so many of them wanted to meet you or 9 so usually you have just a slowing down of systems but what I you think was it was social media that had been put it to a halt and uh so that it would be voice and persuasive follicles amenable through text messages also that meant that was walking so that is why when I kind of might return couldn't see anything I felt OK this is going to come back and you got a phone call in about 10 o'clock I think and a friend of mine because we have been working with him to with elections and give me a quality able to give a man who was with the with the use of magnification they can't think now you see on the mn bonuses is a insist of social media is often said what is that yes and it's in your up he actually said up when a single point that you can use as a core audience on this and didn't know what it was to be about the same it's accordingly to go
to Google Play and download this and so that is when because then I think we're using them as P and called the PY as something and it almost looks like the colds and I remember why he said that and has solar I just like downloaded the application and then the minute as aid I think it was the international treaties from an other water and that's when I realized that it was just me for this if the 1 that had access to a smartphone who was unable to communicate and that means that we were looking at about 1 . 5 1 . 6 1 . 7 million uh Ugandans that they're not able to use their smartphone's because that's how many people we have uh where everyone wasn't able to use this much fluency but 1 . 5 million people is who we have actively using Facebook at the moment said um treaties about 400 thousand active accounts in the country so was quite interesting to see
people being able to um access to the intended using other means it's kind of pointing to taking people because all talking VPN still talking uh by passing an IP address is and will always talking sophisticated thing the main I I have then have had some training because among real them because we know that the government in Sub-Saharan Africa and never that friendly when it comes to 1 9 or rather the beginning we can begin to see and it is a lot of censorship but what we don't expect expect is for it to actually happen you always it is that when it happens is to comes as a shock so yes and I would say that is what happened the blockade happen in where last 72 hours um but I know that so
many people will be removed the Indians from their full and then we laugh about it all the time because we didn't all would use them to be off and then in a body much around it you might standards anything like that in at 10 to 16 the government they came up with the role that was that would add vitamins that is about the censorship all of their social media but also giving powers to again a communications Commission which is in charge of the networks to be able to and social media networks whenever they want as the lowest of all the impediment that it was linear patterns have been passed but we also know that we have a transition and the right now the 9th Parliament is winding up of the activities and them after mn actually in this month we will see the transition from that Parliament to tend by them and so we don't make that will be 1 of the phosphate is or the 10th parliament to be able to turn uh to be able to pass and all that there gives power to the government and government institutions in of communications to be able to search on that box when they ones uh at any other it given time would just use this although there are also the official explanation of the government for that in a moment but let's go on to to Kenya 1st and Kenya that and I think it came to a shock to mn many Kenyans and also to the global community when after the elections in December 2007 uh there was to be uh post-election violence uh 1 thousand up to 1 thousand 500 people died and up to half a million people were displaced the internal and that's why when it came to the elections
in March 2013 the whole Kenyan society was really uh in the state of mind that for you you have to keep peace for now that we should avoid any conflict but this chemical fuel unpleasant side effects also comes to the usual source of the social media and SMS services so that Europe's could you tell us a little bit about that I is the into the 7 are known and and amount of so we had a late so that dinner broke into into balance of 1 doesn't fear people lost their lives in in in the violence of each it was something that was unprecedented before although you we will hide violence in Kenya around elections before but this happened in a very lovely scale bite you might you know we might that into the land 7 we denote Hovland internet was not everywhere but in house around says possess think setting up oscillating guessing that want to festival going late 2007 or to 2 and a demonstrate that the when they say no and that's when I was living in at not made on by Donald leaving enable and if you can look at their votes my duty to you over 42 million eating as muscle leaving rural areas social media was a model then so with that yeah that come by and the internet penetration in connectivity kept increasing on of and social media beside becoming vibrant and I think it is 1 of the most 1 of the countries the most vibrant Social Media we you know all of Africa so this was added wiring that's how these people are able to you know talk about politiques the idea and and engaging in social media this could then be used to plan violence around and around images of people with a wearing by the news they vessel to the last 7 was to fresh in our minds so when we apply selective in 2013 we saw a situation where out in all 1 parcel of would say would say something on social media and you see people coming in and trying to to tell them on to to drive them away from that but because of the effects of the 2007 for selected values listed fresh in our minds and let alone behaving in a cage way where we needed fruity wines anything don't take about 2 2 that the you're coming forward to the PUT POST 2013 elections right now I think some of that all the things we are forgetting 0 what was what hopping but then 40 that people are just becoming a setting to so exercise their freedom of expression more so than I did write larger appointing another election that's coming next year with the number of vibrancy in social media people are openly discussing the students it most of the issues in the in the in that they have political sphere is never really aboard to know what each you can eat it candidate B cells forward tissues by the year by to B cells of they impolitic is played around along that's ethical to try is whether the maze fried task time in terms of the next election we Spidey I was supporting respiting 2 dozen people from Oracle coalition of of pipes there's people people from my best in the community standard and that in itself but basically great is Chris stations on
our also the country and presenting social media even when it's not aboard each would want to collect issues somebody sensors for example somebody may say something and you know people just reacting because you form of the and even try bundles those conversations usually degenerates into into into very the unknown try 1 of these calls that most governments feel fear or government agencies fear that this could lead you into violence and that's probably why now right now we're probably library of all its on going would Uganda went wave goes to he goes to the same not really be because and this could create lot of which the the the the fact that it does their potential of getting out of actually gives the government a reason to want to shut it down in the it's probably doesn't want people discussing Parliament is discussing politics or issues analytics especially when it comes to that electioneering period and use that as an excuse and when even when this happened in Uganda that morning because all of our thinking and digital space and so sponsors Lugana and instead Rahman were on all stop before discussing all the other issues but primarily because we were discussing it from a different angle you attending ourselves on the the what the conversation was our president to looking at he was a agreed present was our good friend of President Museveni that is for that is until they disagreed on whether by plane where they have their bytes because was their friends he could borrow ideas from Severini and when we go into my lectures next year so of social media so even right laws to speak 10 years of the loaded those those of provides the private network applications but for for them for their mobile devices and for their computers and other more more more see
learning how to use them by we we are really really hoping that we never really have to use them thank you very much and that brings us to the 3rd country and
Zimbabwe which is run by another long-term President Robert Mugabe has president since 1987 and served as prime minister of some Barbara at 8 years before that and to turn the country into 1 of the most restrictive countries in such Africa when it comes to the freedom of expression so I
think that the some but but we can talk about a more permanent way of controlling the social media what what I you experience of the blogger while it is my worst case which in part would apply to a number of other African countries is access to the internet is not a right it is not to something that is giving you expected that every citizen should enjoy it's not like water and and and in the process of government then trees access to social media was a privilege all that thing that can be enjoyed by those that have access to money or that can afford a tool that uh sort of like to have a direct interest in its results are assumed to be available for everyone but in terms of actually regulating social media and and the Internet the government is an obvious case is more worried about content on social media so they don't assist you to get onto Facebook that assist you to get access to a computer as such nobody but would definitely want to see what you could put up on social media or to put up on website on broke search and and this is because you can be criminally prosecuted and you can be prosecuted uh for writing on on on on the basis of pure hot and I think this is a trend across most of southern Africa and and Africa itself with governments essentially when start panicking when it comes to the content of social media that site in between elections the might not shut it down or the monotonous as many people but this primarily because they're worried about the shape of the continent on the public consciousness as well as if the consciousness will lead to political action that is not in their favor but there's a 2nd point in in the case of Zimbabwe and I think again with with the majority of African countries which is corn allusions or some sort of an understanding between governments and telecommunications companies after governments or even in the case of abandoned and other countries it's not necessarily that the government poses switches off the the connection the government instruct uh specific telecommunications companies to switch off the connections and this specific telecommunications companies because the function primarily for profit and they don't I think in my view to others may differ I think the Donovan regard access to the internet as a key and fundamental human rights they simply switch it off to cause you don't want to lose your license you don't want to lose your profit margins and so so the big challenge the that governments yes will have a specific negative attitude toward social media people that right and use it but telecommunications companies also don't want political continents or to be implicated in the politics of a country where government system if you if you don't do as we say was simply such your forward least regional offices and and close your company's the 3rd aspect is that is always case and this important aspect concerning why governments have the arrogance to switch off when the social media connections during elections there is the challenge of the very public itself the citizens of Africa's in parts not viewing access to infinity to the Internet's as a key component of their
developmental as a key right the tent also view it as a privilege for the tool of those privileged and it comes to them is largely by way of choice not that if you will have mobile cacheable of uh the groups that discuss different issues as scrimmage level that is a given small like Morris your efforts and whatever private company once once a tubulin online and then this is a key challenge in
terms of how will the Internet is shut down you won't find people still have an inability to communicate around how to challenge that shut down even in the short term with its during an election or during the generally peaceful period so I think just to conclude this was but I think I intended shutdowns have to be considered from the city problem three-pronged perspective 1st the fact that governments want to manage content for political reasons to prevent descent and that they have laws that do that which is linked to the criminalization of freedom of expression 2nd that telecommunications companies do I have a vested interest in foreign with the government says so try as much as possible not to challenge the government's whilst at the same time denying ordinary people access to the internet and reflexes to form of expression and access information fed this limited public Mount was this limited knowledge about the importance of the Internet and the future of the Internet's which was being discussed in parts this morning at in the keynote address To what extent is the intent is to uh democratic rights in the strict sense of the word which protects the right to privacy as well as accentuates of expression this information and this lack of public debate with enough African context sometimes gives governments in collusion with private companies uh that that that the go-ahead to continue searching down as and when they do this thank you very much to all of your future giving us this 1st overview of the situation in your country let's
discuss the influence of the Web community um on on political processes so rules how did the internet community reacts um in Uganda was the public outcry which you say that it has changed the the atmosphere also over and exit information during the elections
that Facebook and would have been shut down or more something that we discussed between people that are interested in the internet and uh and they are if you've importance so there was no outrage it was lot of trees and I'm uh and the morning of the 18th of wire and out was how did they I think that mn we see so many things that happen that we never it is 1 of those things we least expected you to it if you do you expect that the make and find that there is no Facebook and there's no pizza and there's no 1 that so the boy was very very outraged hasn't changed anything at the moment and I think what usually happens and I think that we need to what he's saying is look conversation was how did they how did they how did they after that it was way back to normal that govern the this and moving on and so there hasn't been a lot of conversation on so what do we do at citizens as people are empowered by the internet how do the Texas fight beyond the composition of the work that we have in that the moment on line all the fact that you know we don't have we don't have we have access to the internet we use the Indians now we're back and that's it so you don't have the composition of what makes the future all how do you begin implying as how do we begin you know fostering of community that understands that he cannot happen again yeah and I think that composition is not happening happening because I mean people are saying I mean this those of us who really I'm from using the internet you know who's that depends on the internet and that they may also thinking so what else can I do for when can do I have commanded living so and we was definitely afraid we definitely with so much and the heat at that point so much found that but the composition shifted to something comfortable because that was a very uncomfortable place to be an and so people have got to move don't use those who were very um paranoid and still have the VPN on the phone and so as to use the toward in know talks as well as on their laptops and the exact that but then everyone else since of movement and the father doesn't care you will actually them giving the VPN thing and motility what it was and he was in that um he was an outraged stability to that's all they did that OK yesterday's rate his about I that or there's so many messages Saucony with accessories and that an see that's of less of the majority of the people that we would now be able to carry the conversation forward as well because while you look at the elites or maybe the people that all 9 that have been in that have access to the b and and this year in the U and I think is a comfort over and the label to go to work and syllable to and might pay and syllable to afford health care but we didn't do it think about the implications of what it has on the grass should pass and the think that is where the problem is and here's the bloggers handout among the best organized bloggers in Eastern Africa there so you a organization uh blown off of a promise Association of Kenya bake and soul and you you all went through that experience of the 2007 a post-election violence so what discussion
alliance when it comes to the regulation of social media especially the regulation of hate speech in Internet what's the position if their common position for the bloggers well well I think and that is a conversation we'll
start having can have my time still a conversation that we really do not know where we want to head to head because they talk about the regulation of social media how we we we really want an environment where every social media users these people were using it on the microblogging sites accessible country . people or you know running down on the on blogs and domain the required prayers were blogger that they're able to put out content that's really not that does not just sensitive but contends that nodes Neil inciting other people to pay it's also all of 2 while it just being able to freely put up the and the ideas that are out there and delithiation I don't think they already do you really have opposition our ability to on at the moment because of this this discussion that's undergoing of all its why and should lead late in the 1st place and if we if we regulate then what other for retirement parameters relevant to to regulate our whatever regulating ideas he took a boy speed hate speech city itself was being defined even indicating enclosed in the canyon on those anybody vaguely and I think that's that's something that's that's something we their idols of across Africa I I for unsound remember that there's a law that of that's recently been now been declared the legal and in Canada loaded that so many people have been tried with presented in court and think for the last since are I think Marx 2015 on we just filets those are law that with existing in the can animals and you know sneaked in at some point and people been through the through yellow this laws and make stick thing that was often we write as well so we we with rectified and what situation in 2010 and that's what's constitution that has been praised of otherwise as being of the progressive constitution this Constitution enshrines the freedom of expression and I know there is there on the all the the the the basic rights that were going to be all right and it's 1 of the articles in the bill of rights it's some that holds on article that it really can unconstitutional not any adequately going up to show that under the deal right is an adequate where those articles if you want to limit the freedoms enshrined in the article articles you cannot make a law against it in by that you have to fast go to the people themselves and how the referendum on the people have to vote to allow you to make those changes nobody can of what's on the on their behalf not even elected representatives so what happens is that when they are making rules that that that's going hiding on the that provision of the constitution they brought to this law that it's it's that say is that you know it's going to misuse of license still communication it a equipment so that a those basic of basic idea allow would know you to be arrested for sending messages in a using you compute title fall in or on social media platforms and their messages and the same messages that and all the other people missing that that trait in other people and it's then lands that really becomes the because if I am I is I am at the from a public someone Amities I'll still in public money and then you realize that I have in public money and you go and write don't social media and low dissonance you will only and and people are being taken to court and tied the and that is all friends and in between into the life of the we had 7 people Whitesides another often-cited begin really really at the issue in January 2016 I lost 7 team people in on what what time using that so it got the bloggers seashells saying wait I mean if these cannot really go on and what would it really did you it's into the weighted on that the the fields people how because we need to add another little faster arrested by weighted by the police and in most cases after you get arrested you know you've taken around nobody knows where you are the the needs of the populace still somewhat was arrested in Mombassa flown to label B is from leaving until he was fluent in Arabic with 0 that's big from them from their houses it was flown from i will be taken to the Director of criminally on investigations officers and notice to call for people to realize waving the walls and during that time some of the basic fundamental rights on to to to just is well organized and military would being produced in court to to answer to this study to degree data rate that in 3 days and the and that's even in the clinic and constitution but even beyond being a residue yet arrested and then on when before the case even become minded you you you you have to be in a b out there already you be in policing my most people most people will be of the 17 people or the basic 24 people been arrested the the those problems some organizational that came out and they have been made for them the babies a little 50 thousand shillings that's a board of fragmented segmented dollars US dollars but you know as a blogger and or other social meet somebody who use social media as if they want to really talk about something that's causing you no harm in the public and he and before i t to have to ask myself the question of the new MA ready to go and be detained for 3 days in a police order do I have 500 dollars to pay as they so it makes me just sit back and think and that we that and the people's for freedom of expression some people say no it's not widely but I think our so that's that's what is situational and late into the mix so that afraid even of bloggers in Kenya so we really want some some form over-regulation you want some form of legal framework to be able to out to welcome but we do not want our framework that that that the infringes on on our basic 1 of basic rights to you know to be able to receive and impart information freely the correct you made
a very important point I think about the role of the telecommunication providers and which are really 1 of the driving forces in substantive Africa for the upcoming digitalization they decide about the cost for data uh they decide about their the networks so to extend them um and they're obviously very cooperative
when when governments approach them 1st anywhere from your point of view that um the society in some buffer for example could put some pressure on those telecommunication providers in order to provide the services you're paying for rather than shutting down at the services during action yes I think there there many ways but I think that the key key when would be to me it would understand access to the internet or access to telephone the as a as a as a human rights particularly in in our part of the world where these things are assumed to be more privileges coming from the north among other other places and and the potential drawback is not considered as part of an everyday necessity because it's like smartphone which is upper middle
class and the politically connected elite will be using these things so that if they're going away to draw back the telecommunications companies as a little but the government was governments know for a fact uh that people don't really see the necessity or the importance of the Internet's particularly when you look at the global south the government's know that this lack of complete understanding of the true impact of the Internet helps to retain control and and helps them also control the telecommunications companies so there's different Nietzsche was what was case to explain further what the right to freedom of expression and access to a nation means views of the the Internet and access to the internet what it means is of the social media and this is a generic problem across the African continent I can promise you that probably the Logan government was we have elections in 2 years uh and other governments within the region and looking at that ways in this is to draw from Uganda operandi among others because it's it happened to switch off the internet for a day and nothing happens after the it it it's African Republic the vendors as well and is that militant often which is the Congo Brazzaville Congo Brazzaville it and so you've but about 4 4 or 5 countries that have done it's sitting there good example to other governments that a problem elections to also do it and and then this is a solemn wants to they get the people and you have to switch off the internet was after you see the little period has gone from into 2
hours and run off the results and then you switch on the Internet's what is par introduces crawling to see what messages were posted 2 days ago for the tube is a review of the past instead of looking at the future so that the primary task for a decision action that is required to this is in 2 parts the public awareness uh of the Democratic importance of the right to access and the Internet's in that's into other rights which it was that like privacy and then secondly at at at Kidder comparative explanation of how the Internet is used in the global north is it in the global self was sometimes which is right here telecommunications companies in the global self presented as a commodity and it was the president of the commodity it it this given up that access the Internet becomes a privilege of the few and that's a greater majority will actually quite small in order to do the broader human rights thank you I would like to open up the discussion discussion toward the audience are there any questions yet within the audience could you just show me hands yes so where's question could you
just M introduces of quickly and also tell us um who knew address the question to poem I guess to complete audience Monday name is commission on just where more from where it seems to be
very ineffective to shut down the Internet of the short time before the election how long does it is do shut down and another question is I guess the internet is so is growing in Africa are very much but I do governments the fate of the Internet and are there any bow well do they regulate all thought regulate the internet for example to news was blocking of social media not regularly every all just have only a local white so list of Internet sites and all other sites are disallowed like in some Arabian countries thank you
very much and are there other questions so yes um next to the file and in the back maybe we take those 2 and then we bring it back to the panel hi I lines were and journalist of sorts and I'm curious to what happens to the digital activists during this particular time are they arrested but are they somehow mistreated
the end what happens to them after the social media string of thank you and last question in the back please so hi my name's alex summer government service designer and my question is whether the shutdowns of the
Internet to make into the political discourse from political parties or whether it's part and parcel of the active government is it something that is ever addressed by opposition parties OK so why only 3 days 1 or 2 weeks from the election and what is done in regards to regulation and what does the harbor digital activists treated and to them or the other parties reacting to rules Mayor Austin to start OK so and for you out a token Uganda's OK and so it was shut down full 72 hours and it was mainly facing book tweeter and what's out
that when it accessible to the rest of the sites where accessible and that is why we were able to go to Google priori gluteal iPhone inviable to Don roads and maybe the PS and when it comes to the needle activists in my country there have been no iris have the nearest the no there's been no arrest of the digital activists and they and here we know we have to have so many people that are fighting for and freedom or 9 but we don't have any interested but then G that paid as well as the political parties state using actually it was an irony because the ruling party had people tweeting when their behalf that we're using the P so they exist it was very very glad it happened that way and MML actually made fun about it and said so what's the points begin and get the memo he should have stayed off line you know and but then we you also don't know the hierarchy all who said what and when you gets to shutting down the it tool greed and who do you put to where accountable to and things like that yes all and I think that is what I can answer thank you don't
I government's afraid of the Internet's in Africa years have failing to having that's where the the the set this thing up you know when when when when the when the time
came into Africa thing some you know some just to some kind to just to Keaton right now we're in a way we deeply Kenya out we embrace social media we embrace technology and you know you wanted to do things very fast and the government actually encouraged us and on the make intelligent we know the idea for the would to people currently according to the latest statistics on from their communication each of going on Internet provisioning today that 72 per cent amazing Bowl they did not see that out to you is what kind of a monster these could close to them in terms of people being able to freely express their their their idea that I want to give an example of thought from a commercial from a commercial and then you can just think about what if the old political relates the delisted the about that but closing entail the widest street you that data inventory Dr. so we embark wh incidentally the bunkers coaches book what company those right the happening at that byte is illegal right he is sort of on leaked on social media and acadian's were able to rise the to the to that particular about and we drool everybody wanted their money their their their their deposits so you can imagine what a situation if everybody goes goes to the about the blind date to withdraw their money that boucle set was close the following day by the sense of of of going and put under the sea which is because they were not able to meet their financial obligations so let's put this in a scenario where that's the Government something is that something is wrong with development and it's come out to in the public and it's been training at number 1 4 3 4 D that and people agitated and and you know that moving on not the it's past just seeing and talking about it they're moving into the into action so no government to really wants and as a situation like like that digital activists in Qinghai they haven't said whether really you can would we will hide use a lot people devastated the just before or after elections but for a digital actually abusing can I think every single day you could be arrested we will hide and they can I just mentioned before we had 24 people you know in a boat 2 years have been arrested and tried these closed with the with the court just be created with the goal of the other d so it's it's it's really a fuck that's alive thing have been being a digital activism because the sky and so this is good because you will be arrested in the of the government is like that being in Uganda bills or how their own the total at the school insulting cannot be the whole department at at at Staples that's called the digital department where the government at a higher their on bloggers to dissolve itself for them that they that Steve he was a formal blogger and have people who is employed to to to know to come out of for example if there then I take a moment and a trending topic entweder they've really give it 1 over 1 and a half all of you in this sea of pro-government they you know high standards training 132 and attended that outside of just limited to social media attending view that tags are utterly lots of real provide log disappear in Kenya the double double disappeared and we don't know always is the last it's the speculation aboard the last place he was seen and most people say you will see in a government building and was never to be seen it just Africa point about about regulation uh
social media or the Internet is like the regulated technical licensing of a specific company and essentially telephone or telecommunications company gets lessons by government but then there's not another dimension which relates mainly to quantum and the content is always about national security as in in in our case in love with it's also about
undermining the authority of national services the president among if you post something and that's all you want your regulation or regulatory framework is to always the company is being regulated in painted this text is being threatened with with with withdrawal withdrawal of licences all and then you've got the citizen or the user was also being regulated in relation to content and what you say on these platforms and 1 1 of the major reasons why some governments to retain this multiple regulatory framework is because it gives them control either way you can control the company and you can control the end user of the of the of the of the of the Internet commodity thank you very much yes more questions
please so the n a very much bad effect what that have an academy raising awareness is a
recurring theme which is very important to count a restrictive behavior and maybe in the case of Uganda could you tell us what role traditional media namely radios played in raising awareness and creating debates around the the closing down of the Internet you the
of the catching correct and
I was just wondering if any of the countries learning lessons from China around and other more are restricted to countries where they don't necessarily close the Internet status constantly monitor it
that with I'm not Katrina had from GIZ is
that and I would be interested to know how your connected with other civil society organizations where maybe not mainly active in the digital spheres and to but from
Zambia of mine is known as the question the she cree contribution and when it was
Zimbabwe and or sole something of king is going to cans of tribalism in the voting process guy . and wanted to add to the question he had raised about to wide closing down the intended for a few days of the the the fundamental challenge African governments have used in the management of the election results process and and and what we had to you know I direction last year Zambia was this situation where the public broadcaster was given the exclusive access to the database where relations have been deposited to results we're coming through and they were do differences in the results being published by the broadcasting station and the results that we're coming out officially from the 2 to the center of the national things and and so this this this Konstanz that is the people with access to social media and and they're able to do their own part of what the tabulation for instance what we've been doing recently has been using their smartphones to get pictures of you know the the the tiny did you know telling they're about to results at a documents and at a constant level then you need to put them into a group and then people able to tell you the on their own had from district wads constraints adopted provincial if under don't want to have that kind of collaborative evidence because in that doesn't impact on the floor of the outlawing subtle management of results and now this a we're going to innovation in August and were very much interested in what's happened in Uganda and also the expenses of Zimbabwe and Kenya because uh they have a direct bearing on the kind of attitude that we're going to have already we have seen that 1 this is a specific piece of law that has been put in place to store part here calling unverified publication of results meaning that indeed any person who goes on social media and so is a year where I am the results are as follows without waiting for the retaining wall vsipl announcing more national division is label for offense so it's things like that that that worry the regime they would rather keep it low on to the actual uh that they've done what they want to do and then probably point and that that those critical to is 3 days before the results announced that shutdown of social media thank you very much rules for your
contribution from the ambient air grew mature true to monitor the selection very closely and to see what what through can happen and but I suggest that we don't cross the panel would also the questions that arise from the audience and the role of the civil society or the connection to the civil society and the role of the traditional media and look to what's in China and Asia where we have much more restrictive laws in place already and so it is about raising awareness it was a news item as far as I can remember with the TV stations and lower the radio station is we have and reduce stations in the country and I wouldn't be able
to know if they were giving out any information in this but those that I by it was it was a conversation yes on the daily shows but then again there was a lot more on we remember we had parliamentary and presidential elections happening at the same time so there was a lot of composition about who 1 way back in those particular communities very little thing about this is what is going on in new that's too and the Internet to and then it is being in companies and things like that in the TVs mainly leading to the TV stations that the state had it as an item but the most of them were covering that that the reading of the results because that was going on continuously as still coming through I think that was actually more of what has been covered and in regards to connections with civil society yes there is a lot of civil society and composition but I think what we have not had is that togetherness and in in being able to talk about internet freedom but also for you Uganda's this case is of growing very on um internet community that we have in regards to ligase they show n people talking about police the actually especially about the policy very few people I think it's only this I think that number of organizations but they're not that many and the composition is not paid attention to that much you have very many in fully assist CS but very few people to deliver the debates um landing lessons I think we have known this for I have known this for a while at least that's uh especially sub-Saharan Africa you have a lot of governments that are monitoring maintenance and there's a little 7 is going going on this mission in Uganda where we had some recent scandal I think we can make and the lessons we can exceed knows that when the CTR about um patches all the equipment for surveillance and it was nicknamed for 1 might also it was which is a so he would have we nor the those exist um and then a very countries as well as is that uh you know it's usually 1 of those things of and he actually affects you the kind of act oblivious of what is going on and I think that is what is happening and the actually directly affects us probably that will begin to you know make decisions and think about the future I think it's I think I'll
just say this I would I would lot of that is Africa riding lessons from the east country that 10 the 10 a is a lot of places in Africa that the building role that meaningful structures that giving us lawns that are going to then great-grandchildren will be paying for its yes aligning going aligning their positive lessons from from that we're learning all the but things we becoming as I did it take the final weight
of becoming as distinctive as the are but also not looking like the elasticity of the uh so every day we see we see people why require were aware of what monitoring us you every day on even accessible QC strings friend requests and the like not the view that this moment there are intelligence agencies do that they know the central friend requests on Facebook the fully you on on a timeline pass ID died only phone length of of it's it's it's common procedure Fidelity's in Kenya and local brothers to how their for the following stops doubt fovea only is and they're constant monitoring and somebody just waiting for you to see their on being more posts the wrong thing by Seattle this'll wrestles that I think they're they're lining from from this 50 regions in the this just briefly
lessons from China it on this the most African governments are looking everywhere not just chain and the looking at NASA that looking at all of these other examples as to how best to manage this phenomenon called Internet and especially when when it affects political consciousness political activism and exposes government corruption which is
used as a tool in those respects so yes they they look everywhere much as shown in the and also of other countries that have any broad plans to surveil to curtail among other things the 2nd point about this and with the selected general points on about connections between the uh with mainstream civil society the median and broader than social rejected is to not have a direct link with mainstream civil society as a folds uh in African countries minimal support civil-society doesn't quite take to social media as much as it should all the Internet's as much as it should and this is the challenge with sometimes so such stems back and says 0 that's a major problem or as as a Broca's problem all that that's observing operative problem it the right to freedom of expression and access to information as well as the rights the Internet's is everyone's right but and so that's the tricky thing for the conclusion that from my point of view I think the comparison to Asia the instrumental 1 because we don't want to have Asian nations situation on the African continent and comes to the freedom of expression and in the digital space effort has a battleground right noise can see
where the input that we got from all panellists governments are well the internet they are trying to control it but at the same time the laws are not yet in place if a very active civil society this directive blogosphere and I think we have a global community have to do everything that we can in order to support vectors on the African continent that provides access to information
that's and improve the exchange of opinions and or Africa bloggers some of them so I would like to thank you very much for your contributions rules Daniel into that can for that and and I would also like to thank
you in the audience therefore staying with us for asking all those questions and I hope that you were and knowledge uh maybe bookmark Africa building got AUC and follow what those 3 on the other side of the ring and coming up with in the next few weeks and months thank you so much how the high is the name