“THE ISSUE OF INTERNET FREEDOM AND NATIONAL SECURITY IS NOT ONLY AN ETHIOPIAN PROBLEM”

//In an interview with 2016 CGCS visiting scholar Till Waescher, 2016 Annenberg-Oxford Media Policy Summer Institute participant Halefom Hailu Abraha, deputy director of legal and policy affairs at the Information Network Security Agency (INSA) Ethiopia, discusses the thin line between regulating online content and freedom of expression in a transitional country, the effects of old anti-blasphemy laws for the online realm, and the role of national Internet Service Provider Ethio Telecom.

Ethiopia has the second largest population of all African countries, yet its internet penetration rate is only 12 percent. Still, the country has arguably one of the most sophisticated internet regulatory regimes in the region. 2016 Annenberg-Oxford Media Policy Summer Institute participant Halefom Hailu Abraha is a cyber law and policy researcher, and deputy director of legal and policy affairs at the Information Network Security Agency (INSA), Ethiopia. In an interview with fellow participant and 2016 CGCS visiting scholar Till Waescher, Halefom discusses the thin line between regulating online content and freedom of expression in a transitional country, the effects of old anti-blasphemy laws for the online realm, and the role of national Internet Service Provider Ethio Telecom.

 

With over 80 ethnic groups and more than 90 languages Ethiopia is the most diversified country on the African continent. What are the biggest challenges when it comes to internet content regulation in your country?

The internet is the greatest tool for advancing causes of democracy and civil liberties. However, it is not without challenges and problems. When it comes to content, the internet provides unlimited access to useful resources, while at the same time, it also serves as a platform for harmful or illegal content such as hate speech, sexually explicit content especially child pornography, defamatory statements, terrorist propaganda, extremist, radicalizing, and racist materials. While recognizing that the benefits of the internet far outweigh its negative…

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The State of Cybercrime Governance in Ethiopia

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//Haleform Hailu of INSA Ethiopia discusses Ethiopia’s approach to cybercrime. Click here to read the full report.

The advent of ICTs in general and the internet in particular is transforming the global economy’s focus from one centered on industry to one based upon knowledge and information. These transformations have dramatically changed the way people live and do business, and have paved the way for the emergence of the information society.

While these technological advancements have brought about numerous opportunities, they have also opened the door for unprecedented criminal activities. Cybercrime is an increasingly important concern for policy makers, businesses, and citizens alike. Due to ICT growth, citizens, business, and governments are exposed to new and sophisticated risks. No country is safe from the threat of cybercrime; therefore, combating cybercrime is a key strategic objective for governments.

Ethiopia  has  embraced  ICTs  as  a  key  enabler of…

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