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South Africa may Censor the Internet according to a new policy document!

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posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 07:45 PM
On the 4 March 2015 the South African Film and Publications Board released a draft policy document that has raised alarm amongst the freedom of information and anti-censorship Right2Know campaigners:

The South Africa Film & Publication Board last week released a draft policy which outlines its recently mooted plans to regulate online publications. The full document – available here – claims responsibility for online publishing as the prerogative of the FPB, which typically classifies movies, due to “media convergence” which has “fundamentally transformed the way media content is distributed and consumed”. It applies to “online distributors of digital films, games, and certain publications, whether locally or internationally”. Online publications covered by the rules will be obliged to pay a fee to the FPB, which will then vet material published: “Where it is convenient and practical to do so, the Board may dispatch classifiers to the distributors’ premises for the purposes of classifying digital content.” That seems to apply to anyone who publishes videogame source code, a YouTube video (YouTube is specifically mentioned in the regulations) or a blog. Publishers will also be able to self-classify their work under certain terms. User generated content will also be governed by the rules, with publishers liable for offensive or illegal material uploaded by readers/users. One major problem – besides criminalising YouTube – is that “certain publications” aren’t actually defined in the regulations, so they could apply to any news or website – so while it may be that the regulations are aimed at bringing streaming TV services inline with traditional broadcast TV, the wording could include any blog, news site or Facebook page run out of South Africa.

For the full statement by the Right2Know Campaign:

I gather that if the policies pass into law as they stand (the public has until June 2015 to comment) anything published online from South Africa - including social media like Facebook, blogs, and I guess SA members of ATS - will first have to submit their content to the board, and pay a fee to have it classified by their agents.
This would be a blow to the immediacy of online news, since anything to do with officialdom in SA takes time.
The fees would also be detrimental, especially to ordinary bloggers and civic journalism.

Worst of all, what will happen to anonymity if state agents can come to your premises or home to check out your online activity?
Surely that's an invasion of privacy.

Whatever the final document will say, this comes across as a threat, especially after the cellular phone and Internet jamming in Parliament in an attempt to censor the heavy-handed tactics during President Zuma's State of the Nation Address last month.
I think the language is deliberately vague to allow state agents to haggle with civil society and the media until they agree to something "less draconian" and more practical than what they themselves proposed.

However, it may still provide enough of a hammer to smite the blogs and bloggers who are most efficient and critical of ANC incompetence and corruption, and who discuss issues like historical propaganda, alternative viewpoints and embarrassing issues ignored by the mainstream media, like instances of black on minority violence and racism. These are just some examples, and ultimately it could censor all kinds of issues and opposition politics for all segments of the population.

For the moment this appears very concerning, and I wonder if this has been done in anyone's country, or how they would feel if their state proposed something like this?
edit on 11-3-2015 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

edit on 11-3-2015 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 08:05 PM
Well this is a typical jealous reaction when too much corruption gets exposed by regular people.

Who's next?

posted on Mar, 12 2015 @ 12:22 AM

originally posted by: halfoldman

For the moment this appears very concerning, and I wonder if this has been done in anyone's country, or how they would feel if their state proposed something like this?

The same thing is happening in North America.

In the U.S. it's called 'Net Neutrality'.

In Canada it's 'Bill-51'

Die Antwoord is ZEF!

posted on Mar, 12 2015 @ 05:19 AM
I'm not so 'down' with politricks, etc.
But, I can't help thinking about BRICS - the fact that we're holding hands with China, given that they have such strong restrictions in their own country regarding the internet and media...

Rather disconcerting...

posted on Mar, 12 2015 @ 06:14 AM
There is no way they can possibly police this policy
The ANC seem desperate to squeeze more cash out of people and at the same time try and scare the population into keeping silent.

posted on Mar, 14 2015 @ 01:31 PM
There was a gentleman from the Film and Publications Board on radio (Lord help us).

Of course he said that they're only interested in certain sites, although it wasn't clarified.

Whatever they say, why are these provisions in the proposal if they actually mean something else?

Nobody was convinced or even swayed by what he had to say.
In fact, after hearing him I feel more nervous than ever.

South Africa - a country with many problems and inequalities.
Yet, our "nanny state" is hellbent on scratching where it doesn't itch at all.

Maybe it's all about the money and making jobs for "agents".
Sounds like another level of taxation.
edit on 14-3-2015 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 14 2015 @ 03:00 PM
a reply to: halfoldman

I watched a South African film last night.


I think they made a typo.

'Die Antwoord', who star in the movie are brilliant, but Chappy was cr@ppy.

It did show some interesting views of Johannesburg though.

Back on topic:

There was a protest march here today against Bill-51, the Canuckistani version of internet censorship.


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