What exactly is WikiLeaks and why do we need it in South Africa? With the recent threat to media freedom, the arrest of Mzilikazi wa Afrika, and the fact that deputy home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba wants to introduce legislation that will compel Internet service providers to censor certain material online. We’re heading down a slippery slope with the likes of Iran, China and even Australia.
In the following video Wikileaks founder Julian Assange explains why the wwworld needs Wikileaks. South Africa needs to become aware of and start using WikiLeaks in a similar fashion it is used in Kenya and the US.
Over at TechCentral Duncan Mcleod shares his opinion on why the South African internet filter is not a good idea.
According to a Sapa wire report last week, Gigaba intends “fast-tracking the passage of a yet-to-be-drafted law that will compel Internet service providers to filter content provided to users to ensure it does not contain any pornography”.
He reportedly made the remarks at a symposium arranged by the Film & Publication Board to find ways of protecting children from the harmful effects of porn on the Web and mobile phones.
“Despite recent amendments to the law and other efforts to stop the devastating effect on children of their access to pornography, it’s not enough,” board legal affairs manager Dumisani Rorwana said in a statement. “The law as it stands is not working, so we have no choice but to take it to the next level.”
That sounds ominous, especially given that these noises are being made at the same time as the ANC is ratcheting up talk of the need for a media tribunal, and as concern continues to grow over the Protection of Information Bill.
Blocking porn is only the cover story to censor a platform that was never meant to be censored. Australian citizens are already battling their governments attempts to censor the internet with No Clean Feed.
The Australian Federal Government is pushing forward with a plan to force Internet Service Providers [ISPs] to censor the Internet for all Australians. This plan will waste tens of millions of taxpayer dollars and will not make anyone safer.
The filter will do almost nothing to prevent the people who are willfully making, trading, and accessing child sexual abuse material. This type of material is not distributed in the open and we need to fund police to continue to infiltrate and prosecute the groups of people responsible for creating and distributing such material.
The filter will not prevent children from accessing inappropriate material. The proposed category of censored sites will not be wide enough to provide assurances to parents. Parents will be much better served by installing one of the many voluntary filters that are currently available and ensuring that their children are adequately supervised and aware of risks they may face online.
The list of material to be banned includes much more than child sexual abuse material. The category of material that has been ‘refused classification’ includes websites about euthanasia, controversial movies such as ‘Ken Park’ and ‘Baise-moi’, and many games that are designed for people over 16 years of age.
Despite being almost universally condemned by the public, ISPs, State Governments, Media and censorship experts, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is determined to force this filter into your home.
I think we need a NoCleanFeed.co.za sooner rather than later. Also read the Daily Maverick’s piece on the bigger picture behind wa Afrika’s arrest.