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The Association for Progressive Communications invites you to the launch of the Global Information Society Watch 2014 annual publication, focused on communication surveillance in the digital age. The report covers 57 countries including South Africa, in a chapter written by Professor Jane Duncan. The Global Information Society Watch is a space for collaborative monitoring of an inclusive information society. The launch will allow for engagement on the current state of privacy and surveillance in South Africa and other parts of the world. It will include a focus on the African Convention on Cybersecurity and the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms.

The launch of the report will be done in partnership with the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI).

Communications surveillance in South Africa: The case of the Sunday Times newspaper.

The story of the Sunday Times has been chosen as a case study of just how corruptible South Africa’s communications monitoring and interception capacities are, in spite of the government claiming that it offers all the necessary protections for civil liberties. The paper is owned by one of the four largest press groups, Times Media Limited. The journalists, Stephan Hofstätter and Mzilikazi wa Afrika, had their communications intercepted by the Crime Intelligence Division of the South African Police Service (SAPS), in order to disrupt their work as journalists and to uncover their sources.

Guest speakers:

Anriette Esterhuysen - Chair Anriette Esterhuysen is the executive director of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), an international network of organizations working with Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) to support social justice and development. Prior to joining APC Esterhuysen was executive director of South African APC member SANGONeT, an internet service provider and training institution for civil society, labour and community organizations. Since January 2014, Ms. Esterhuysen has been on the Global Commission on Internet Governance. She sits on the 1NET steering committee, a non-governmental multistakeholder platform to discuss and explore improvement areas for the current global internet governance and technical coordination framework. Esterhuysen has published extensively on ICTs for development and social justice. She holds postgraduate qualifications in Social Sciences from the University of Witwatersrand.

Jane Duncan - University of JohannesburgJane Duncan is Professor in the Department of Journalism, Film and Television, University of Johannesburg. Before that she held a Chair in Media and the Information Society at Rhodes University and was the Executive Director of the Freedom of Expression Institute. She has written widely on issues of freedom of expression, the right to privacy, social movements and the right to protest, and media policy.

Mzilikazi wa Afrika - Times MediaMzilikazi wa Afrika is a multi-award winning journalist working for the Sunday Times investigations unit in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is also the reigning chairperson of the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR), an investigative journalism organisation with members from 36 different African countries. The Bushbuckridge-born scribe was awarded two international scholarships to study in the UK and USA in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the field of journalism. His memoir, entitled Nothing Left to Steal, was published on 4 August, 2014, which marked the fourth year anniversary of his controversial arrest. Mzilikazi is currently working on his first novel, titled The Ugly Ones Are So Beautiful.

Verine Etsebeth - Wits School of LawVerine Estebeth is a senior lecturer at the Wits School of Law. Verine is an admitted attorney who did her articles in the IT law department of Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs Attorneys. She has a Masters degree in Law (LLM dissertation entitled “The Legal Implications of Information Security Governance”) and Higher Diplomas in Corporate Law, Tax Law and Labour Law, and is currently enrolled for a PhD at Wits. Verine specialises in Information Security and data protection law, and is the co-ordinator of and a lecturer on Wits’ LLM course in Cyber Law and Access to Information and Privacy Law. She has presented papers at numerous national and international conferences and has published articles in a range of local and international publications on the subject matter of IT law. Verine has been awarded a 3-year bursary from the Mellon Retiree Trust Fund and has recently been afforded the opportunity to visit Harvard Law School, in Boston, MA, USA in the summer of 2012.

Gareth Newham - Institute for Security Studies Gareth Newham currently heads the Governance, Crime and Justice Division which works to inform and improve policy and public understanding of violence, crime, corruption and the prevention of these challenges. Gareth spent three years working as a Project Manager at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA). Gareth holds a Masters Degree in Public and Development Management (MM-P&DM) from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Titi Akinsanmi - Google AfricaMrs. Titi Akinsanmi is focused on technology policy and research in Africa. She holds a Masters in Management from the University of Witswatersrand. Her experience spans both the public and private sectors consulting for a range of international institutions including AfriNIC, the World Bank Institute, IICD, Mindset, UN-GAID, UNECA, SchoolNet Africa and MTech Communications. She has initiated, managed and or led delivery on projects and initiatives for ICT & development, ICT& Education, the Information Society, Internet Governance, Telecom Value Added Products & Services within Nigeria, South Africa and across over 30 other countries.

African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms

The African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms is a Pan-African initiative to promote human rights standards and openness principles in internet-policy making on the continent. The Declaration is intended to elaborate on the principles which are necessary to uphold human and people’s rights on the internet, and to cultivate an internet environment that can best meet Africa’s social and economic development needs and goals.

Guest speakers:

Towela Nyirenda-Jere - NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency Dr. Towela Nyirenda Jere holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering (Networking and Telecommunications) from the University of Kansas, an ACCA Diploma in Financial Management and is a qualified Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute (USA). She is currently the Programmes Manager with the NEPAD e-Africa Programme at the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA). She currently manages projects in e-skills and Internet Governance and is responsible for identification of new projects and partnerships for the e-Africa Programme. Prior to this appointment she was the Projects Coordinator at the Malawi Polytechnic, University of Malawi.

Emilar Vushe-Gandhi - Association for Progressive Communications Emilar Vushe-Gandhi currently coordinates all Africa related project activity in the Communications, Information and Policy Program (CIPP). Some of the Africa projects include Digital Migration, Africa Internet Governance School, The Internet Intermediaries and Liability in Africa and African Internet Governance Forum. Prior to joining APC in 2009, Emilar worked as a researcher on human rights violations focusing on public information rights, race and migration. She has a Bsc Information Science from the National University of Science and Technology.

To RSVP Email: or by 27 April, 2015