Everyone has the right to benefit from security, stability and resilience of the Internet. As a universal global public resource, the Internet should be a secure, stable, resilient, reliable and trustworthy network. Different stakeholders should continue to cooperate in order to ensure effectiveness in addressing risks and threats to security and stability of the Internet. Unlawful surveillance, monitoring and interception of users’ online communications by state or non-state actors fundamentally undermine the security and trustworthiness of the Internet.
Everyone has the right to enjoy secure connections to and on the Internet including protecting from services and protocols that threaten the security, stability and resilience of the Internet. Security, stability and resilience of the Internet must be protected and technical attacks against information systems should be prevented. Encryption is one of the key ways in which this can be achieved. States should recognise in their legislation and practices that encryption is a basic requirement for the protection of the confidentiality and security of information. In particular, States should promote end-to-end encryption as the basic standard for the protection of the rights to freedom of expression and privacy online, and promote the use of open source software. At the same time, States should refrain from adopting measures requiring or promoting technical backdoors to be installed in hardware and software encryption products. They should repeal laws banning the use of encrypted products, particularly by end-users, or laws requiring government authorisation for the use of encrypted products. Companies should also refrain from weakening technical standards and roll out the provision of services with strong end-to-end encryption. Initiatives to improve security of the Internet and address digital security threats should involve appropriate collaboration between governments, private sector, civil society, academia and the technical community.
Throughout 2023 signs and episodes of shrinking civic space continued to mark the Southern African digital rights landscape.
The report presents the findings of a study on what governments are doing to inhibit citizens’ access to ICT, for example content blocks, censorship, filtering, infrastructure control, law-making, court cases; how governments are using ICT activity and data to monitor citizens; and how government bodies and functionaries are using propaganda, impersonation, threats, cloning, and other tactics to shape online conte