The impact of Internet shutdowns in AfricaPosted: 21 February, 2019 Filed under: Tomiwa Ilori | Tags: ACHPR, Africa, African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, African Governments, Arab-spring, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), digital rights, Egypt, electoral malpractices, Freedom of Expression And Access to Information, general elections, ICCPR, ICESCR, internet, internet shutdown, Johannesburg Principles on National Security, national security, public protests, shutdown, Siracusa Principles, state power, Sudan, technology, violations, Zimbabwe 1 Comment
Author: Tomiwa Ilori
LLD Candidate, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
In the past, authoritarianism like any other form of illegitimacy has always been paranoid of disruptions. The internet, since its decentralisation in the last century, has blurred boundary lines, projected a classless society and looked to upset apple carts in political spaces. It is typical that this form of “magic” that could redefine state power rattled many governments. African governments soon began to show overt signs of paranoia and not too long, Africa became the first continent to experience an internet shutdown in Egypt on 28 January 2011. Since then, several governments in Africa have constantly violated digital rights with the justification of national security which supposes that both are mutually exclusive.