African Government Blocks Freedom of Speech and Net Neutrality

In Decenternet, News, World
Freedom of Speech

Is the African government blocking their citizens’ freedom of speech and the right to enjoy net neutrality?

Having the liberty or freedom to express what you think and what you feel makes you feel better, isn’t it? However, if there are some people who want to hold it back would be too devastating.

In Africa for example, it is not the ISPs that citizens are worried about but their government. Several administrations in the least connected to internet continent are reported to be suppressing their constituent’s online freedom.

At first, it was just a rumor that the Ugandan government will impose a tax for using social media. A few weeks afterward, President Yoweri Museveni changed policy stating that officials were recommending the excise to accumulate local income. However, Uganda citizens cite it as an effort to stifle their increasing freedoms online.

Because of the excise tax, violent protests spurred in the country. According to Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, the bill will be amended to consider public concern and will be introduced to the state’s parliament today (July 19). The law,  called the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill 2018 took effect on the first day of this month. Ugandans who are using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp should pay 200 Ugandan shillings ($0.05) every day.

As a result, a company filed a complaint against the Ugandan government accusing it of violating the principles of net neutrality. The petitioners likewise called on Uganda’s Constitutional court to abolish the obnoxious tax and proclaim it as unlawful, insignificant, and meaningless.

The African governments perceive the internet as a danger and utilize a diverse besieged closures, scrutiny, and discretionary regulations to hush digital consumers. Leaders along with a few Democrats understand that they need more to ward off condemnation but can also cut off live feeds to sabotage the active conversations transpiring online. These disturbances cause costly impact not just on both democracy and social cohesiveness but also on economic growth, modernization, internet honesty, and freedom to express one’s self.

In Tanzania, bloggers are required to pay authorities more than $900 to enable their website. Egyptian officials prohibited calls using social media apps, barred hundreds of domestic and overseas websites, and asked for the creation of a Facebook-like platform ran by the state. DR Congo President Joseph Kabila has adopted the law that was created decades ago surveil and purge the internet. The Kenyan government legislated a far-reaching law pushing analysts to argue that freedom of the press has been muzzled. Too bad that Algeria, Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, and Uganda have to shut down the web or block apps including Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp every time there is a government protest or high-priority elections.

It is very unfortunate if your own government was the one who suppresses your freedom to express yourself and monitors your every activity online instead of protecting you. There is still a  way to regain your online freedom. Decenternet platform empowers and secures your free speech. It provides unlimited access to countless websites and apps to freely communicate online. Besides, its Anubis OS is not designed to censor and surveil its users, unlike other websites that treat their visitors like a criminal.


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