Internet intermediary liability can have a significant deterrent effect on intermediaries’ willingness and ability to provide services, and therefore may end up hindering the development of the internet itself. For this reason, legislators around the globe have defined special “comfort zones” for the operation of intermediaries, also known as “safe harbours”, limiting the liability of such entities in specific sets of circumstances.
As this background paper illustrates, significant differences exist concerning the subjects of these limitations, their scope and their modes of operation. Nevertheless, international best practices can be identified that may provide useful guidance for the drafting or the improvement of the current legislation in a number of African countries.
Dr Dorothy Okello, founder of APC member Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), has been recognised as Africa’s first-ever Digital Woman of the Year.
APCNews talked to Dalia Haj-Omar, a Sudanese human rights activist, about the recent internet blackout in Sudan, the implications for freedom of expression and association, and the role of the international community.
Sudan experienced a massive internet outage on 25 September 2013 in addition to a violent crackdown on protests over fuel subsidy cuts by the Sudanese government. Evidence suggests that the connectivity blackout was not a catastrophic technical failure, but rather an intentional act to disconnect citizens of Sudan from the rest of the world and from each other.
The second African Internet Governance Forum istarted in Nairobi, Kenya just a day after a terrorist attack was launched on this African country.
The media reported 24 hours a day from the site of the attack; Twitter hashtags were created to make sure messages related to the crisis were passed on to the masses; and Facebook ready-to-use pictures of support to Kenya were circulated.
It is 7Pm, under a streetlight, almost hundred students are gathering. All of them are trying to get the best of the yellow light coming on their notepads. It is school examination time, and the only place where there is electricity.
The Zimbabwean government extended its reach into the private lives of its citizens this week by promulgating a new law establishing a central database of information about all mobile telephone users in the country.
On 20-21 September, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) held a regional dialogue and workshop on “Freedom of expression in cyberspace” in Johannesburg. The event explored how to empower human rights defenders in Southern Africa using the internet. Discussion brought to light issues of intermediary liability, surveillance, human rights, and internet governance.
As part of our work on intermediary liability in Nigeria, APC and Paradigm Initiative developed this reference text, which will be used as an input in workshops to advocate for best practice in internet intermediary regulatory measures in Nigeria.