The latest Global Information Society Watch report is devoted to the analysis of communications surveillance in 57 countries. Authors from Mexico and South Africa raised local issues related to surveillance at report launch events.
This paper looks at the role of internet intermediaries in South Africa as well as their limitations on enabling communication and facilitating information flows and the recently placed policy focus on internet intermediaries.
“South Africa has adopted some of the more problematic elements of the new post-9/11 surveillance regime, many of which have been authored in supposedly liberal democracies, while failing to incorporate key safeguards that may have been incorporated in these democracies,” says Jane Duncan in an interview for the forthcoming Global Information Society Watch.
The Spear is a painting that depicts the South African president Jacob Zuma in a rallying pose, with genitals exposed. It has caused controversy and been defaced. Images of the painting have gone viral on internet. In late May 2012, the South African Film and Publications Board classified the painting, as not suitable for people under the age of 16. But in a country where one in four women is raped, who is the ban supposed to protect?
Unused TV white spaces could be the way to get highspeed wireless internet to millions living outside major African cities. Manufacturers are gearing up for mass production of white space devices and now is the time to act. APC and partners are coordinating an important workshop for govt officials, regulators and professionals in October.
- Deepen understanding of opportunities offered by Television White Spaces Spectrum in Africa focusing on Kenya and South Africa
- Explore how TVWS can transform the connectivity landscape in Africa to achieve the goal of creating affordable access for all
- Share ideas and experiences on how TVWS can boost growth of the technology sector in sub-Saharan Africa.
The event is a
Poverty and social inequity in South Africa have shaped the development of media culture and distribution in the country. Low incomes in a country where one-third of the population lives on less than one dollar a day, high prices for commercial DVDs and Cds and a widespread advertising culture have created a high demand for media goods which are not easily obtained legally for the great majority of South Africans. Making pirated disks, books and online digital formats the desirable alternative. A new study on media piracy Media Piracy in Emerging Economies examines why piracy has come to be so widespread world-wide, the reasons why it persists and looks at the future. APC is the contributor for the South African chapter.
“Open spectrum is important because access is important” says Steve Song, telecommunications fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation in an interview with APCNews. But in South Africa, the problem is not lack of access – it’s that access is not affordable. Freeing up wireless spectrum, such as television white spaces —the space between channels— or making more information available on spectrum that is currently not in use could help to make affordable access a reality. Song is the author of a new country survey report commissioned by APC in which he explores how spectrum is currently managed in South Africa, and the barriers that are blocking availability.
Prior to 1994, spectrum in South Africa was managed by the state body responsible for its implementation. Thus broadcast spectrum was managed by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and telecommunications spectrum managed by the state telecommunications provider, Telkom. This was generally uncontentious because, prior to the rise of mobile telecommunications and wireless broadband, the availability of spectrum significantly exceeded its demand.