“Any person caught in possession of, generating, sharing or passing on abusive, threatening, subversive or offensive telecommunication messages… that may be deemed to cause despondency, incite violence, threaten citizens and cause unrest, will be arrested and dealt with accordingly in the national interest.” – Public notice from PORTRAZ, the Zimbabwean telecommunications regulator, July 2016 […]
Hands Off Our Internet
Stop the draft Cybercrimes Bill!
South Africa’s Department of Justice & Constitutional Development recently published a draft Bill that would fundamentally threaten internet freedom in South Africa.
The draft Cybercrimes & Cybersecurity Bill is absurdly overbroad. If passed into law, it would give South Africa’s security agencies sweeping powers to police the internet. The Bill even tries to sneak in the worst clauses of the ‘Secrecy Bill’ through the back door. (See R2K’s submission here.)
In the name of making the internet a safer place, the draft Cybercrimes Bill would:
- Criminalise journalists and whistleblowers by sneaking in the worst parts of the “Secrecy Bill”
- Increase the state’s surveillance powers and is even more invasive than RICA
- Contain 59 new criminal offences involving computer usage – many of which are so broad that they could ensnare ordinary computer users.
- Contain anti-copyright provisions so harsh you could be criminalised for even posting a meme.
- Read more: What’s Wrong with the Cybercrimes Bill? Seven Deadly Sins
We accept the need for policies that promote genuine cybersecurity, but the Bill in its current form is so broad that it would, quite simply, break the internet. Like the Film & Publications Board’s draft internet censorship regulations, this Bill threatens the basic democratic spirit of the internet.
The Bill’s drafters at the Department of Justice have given until 14 December for public comments. This gives just days to send the message: this Bill needs to be scrapped entirely!
Join us in demanding that the Bill be withdrawn! Sign the petition here!
This article below was published by BDlive: BY BEKEZELA PHAKATHI, 30 AUGUST 2016, 20:35 THE controversial Films and Publications Amendment Bill, which seeks to regulate the digital distribution of films and games, has been widely criticised by various stakeholders who have deemed it unconstitutional. The Portfolio Committee on Communications is this week holding public hearings […]
This article below was published by GroundUp: Meetings have taken place in Johannesburg and Cape Town. PE is next. By Stephanie Kelly 3 June 2016 A forum on Thursday led by a University of the Western Cape post-doctorate fellow and the Right2Know (R2K) Campaign discussed solutions to access to communication in South Africa. The group consisted […]
This week the Right2Know Campaign made submissions to Parliament on the Films & Publications Amendment Bill. This comes after the FPB published final regulations for online content. This briefing note, prepared by R2K’s Micah Reddy, unpacks the Bill, and the FPB’s new regulations — and the risks they may pose of internet censorship in South […]
This is a joint statement of civil society organisations committed to upholding human rights and seeking social justice in South Africa. It was delivered at the gates of Parliament on Tuesday 26 April 2016. On 30 March 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Committee issued a strong condemnation of South Africa’s surveillance capabilities, and the […]
Memorandum to Department of Justice: Demands to Stand Against Surveillance and Fix RICA! 26 April 2016 On 30 March 2016, a report by the United Nations Human Rights Committee came down hard on South Africa’s surveillance practices1. The Human Rights Committee expressed concern at the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information […]
Join the Right2Know Campaign for a public meeting to advance Access to a Free Internet. DATE: Tuesday 3 May 2016 (World Press Freedom Day) TIME: 9h00 PLACE: TBC, Johannesburg MORE INFO: Micah Reddy 832973444 email@example.com This event forms part of Right2Know’s Freedom Week 2016. #FreedomWeek
On Monday 7 March 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Committee will review of South Africa’s human rights record and its implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides for the right of every person to be protected against arbitrary or […]
Right2Know together with Privacy International and the Association of Progressive Communicators submitted suggestions for right to privacy-related questions for the consideration of the periodic report of South Africa at Human Rights Committee, 116th Session, 7 – 31 March 2016. Concerns raised relate to the right to privacy and communication surveillance in South Africa. Download the submission here.
What’s wrong with the draft Cybercrimes & Cybersecurity Bill? Here are the submissions made by a range of local and international organisations: AccessNow Association of Progressive Communications Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Monitoring Africa Mozilla Foundation M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane) Open Democracy Advice Centre OWASP Cape Town Chapter Right2Know Campaign Internet Service Providers Association […]