Internet censorship in South Africa: a brief exposé of negative and positive trends

Keywords: South Africa, Internet Censorship, Online Censorship, Internet Filtering


This article investigates internet censorship in South Africa using a set of negative and positive internet censorship trends adapted from Bitso, Fourie and Bothma (2012) to raise awareness in light of increasing global internet censorship and South Africa’s involvement in a proposal for inter-governmental policy on the internet. Both positive and negative internet censorship trends are noted. The investigation reveals that South Africa has the highest level of media freedom in Africa. However, there are three concerns highlighted that might have a bearing on internet censorship in South Africa. Firstly, there is the formulation of legislation that might impact on the use of information, in particular the Protection of State Information Bill (2010). As such, various campaigns and cyber actions were made against this Bill because it is deemed to entrench information censorship. Secondly, there is the hacking of South African government websites, including that of the police on more than one occasion. This warrants internet censorship in order to combat crime as well as to ensure safety and security. Thirdly, there is the increasing challenge of spam and malware that calls for filtering to protect systems such as servers. 
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