The OpenNet Initiative (ONI) has released 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.
Today’s release of new data and analysis follows the ONI’s May 2007 release of its first global survey and the subsequent publication of Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering (MIT Press, 2008), and joins recently updated reports on China and the Middle East and North Africa. In the coming months, ONI will release additional, updated reports on countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States, Europe, and Latin America, as well as on North America and on Australia and New Zealand. These reports will provide the analytical basis for a book to be released in early 2010, Access Controlled: The Shaping of Power, Rights and Rule in Cyberspace.
More! These reports make great companion pieces for Calestous Juma's recent talk at Berkman on broadband in East Africa, not to mention for some of the essays around the International Development Research Centre's second Harvard Forum last week.