Remarks from the Association for Progressive Communications on the Draft Online Regulation Policy of the Film and Publication Board of South Africa
On 4 March 2015, the Film and Publication Board (FPB) gazetted the Draft Online Regulation Policy and opened it for public comment. In effect the policy would allow the FPB, at its discretion, to classify user-generated content on any online content platform.
If implemented, the Draft Online Regulation Policy proposed by the South African Film and Publication Board would, under the guise of child protection, pose serious threats to online freedom of expression. APC joins the many South African civil society and broader communications sector voices that are expressing their concern about the proposed regulations.
ICT ministries and regulators from Southern Africa are meeting this week to consider ways to use infrastructure sharing to help achieve more universal access to broadband.
Unlocking broadband for all: Broadband infrastructure sharing policies and strategies in emerging markets
In the quest for universal access, this study shows that the cost of network deployment can be dramatically reduced if operators collaborate with each other in deploying fibre optic backbones or masts for wireless broadband. The report points out that even greater savings can be made if other utilities such as roads, rail lines, pipelines and power grids share their infrastructure with network operators. This makes it feasible for small network operators to enter the market, which increases competition, making netwwork access more affordable and more widespread.
Download the report or sections of it from the links above. The full report includes the Appendix with the 10 country case studies (Côte d’Ivoire, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand and Uganda). See the link on Related projects for further details on the APC Infrastructure Sharing project.
Governments must promote sharing networks and laying cables with other infrastructure such as roads and power lines if they are to meet needs for universal broadband.
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?