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Many sub-Saharan African governments view the Internet as a key tool for development and are developing ICT policies accordingly, though the region still lags behind the rest of the world in both number and percentage of Internet users. Sub-Saharan Africa has a history of media abuses and restrictions on freedom of the press, and the region would seem a likely setting for equally restrictive Internet policies. However, ONI testing found evidence of a technical filtering regime in only one country, Ethiopia. As the Internet continues to develop in sub-Saharan Africa, so too will laws regulating its use. To what extent these laws will encourage education, commerce and online governance or restrict free expression largely remains to be seen.

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Announcement shared by Carol Rossini on the Diplo Alumni mailing list

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Seth Young
Date: Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 2:47 PM
Subject: [report-release-list] OpenNet Initiative: new research on Sub-Saharan Africa
To: report-release-and-press-list@eon.law.harvard.edu

Good afternoon,

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is pleased to share today new work from the OpenNet Initiative (ONI: http://opennet.net). The partnership has released four studies of Internet filtering in Sub-Saharan Africa: updated reports on Ethiopia and Zimbabwe and new reports on Uganda and Nigeria, where ONI tested for the first time in 2008 and 2009.

All four profiles can be accessed at: http://opennet.net/research/regions/ssafrica

Many governments across Sub-Saharan Africa view the Internet as a key tool for development and are developing ICT policies accordingly. While the region has a history of media abuses and restrictions on freedom of the press, ONI testing found evidence of consistent filtering in only one of the countries tested: Ethiopia. Filtering in Ethiopia was found to be substantial in regard to both political and conflict/security sites. Ethiopian authorities have also blocked two major blogging platforms, Blogger and Nazret, suggesting political bloggers are the prime targets of censure.

In the coming months ONI will be releasing more new research -- covering Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Australia and the US/Canada -- culminating in a new book, Access Controlled: The Shaping of Power, Rights and Rule in Cyberspace.

If you have questions, please contact Jillian York .

Congratulations to the ONI team at Berkman and to their partners at Toronto, Cambridge, and Oxford on this new work!

Seth Young
Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Harvard University


To change your Berkman mailing list subscriptions, please visit: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/getinvolved

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society -- http://cyber.law.harvard.edu -- exploring cyberspace, sharing in its study, and helping pioneer its development




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