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Angola, fearing an Arab-Spring style uprising, paves way for new anti digital communication legislation

Angolans are getting fed up with their dire living situation—an estimated 87% of the population live in shanty towns—despite oil wealth and a supposed peace dividend after their long civil war ended in 2002. Although large Arab Spring protests may not be possible in Angola due to both a heavily controlled state and memories of a recent war, the Angolan government is becoming concerned.

“Clearly sensitive to how social networking sites are being used to spread antigovernment ideas and organise protest events, the government, which already controls the traditional media, has proposed new statutory restrictions on the internet. The legislation would outlaw ‘the dissemination of information with the goal of damaging national integrity or independence, to destroy, alter or subvert state institutions through the use of information systems.’ It would also allow the authorities to ‘intercept or block communications, retain data and make it illegal to use recording, video and photography without authorization, even if the material was produced legally.’”

Implications from Institute for the Future:
The rules of governance are changing. Our global digital culture has threatened, and continues to threaten, authoritarian governments through their organizational powers. Governments are increasingly forced to change their positions to keep up with their dissatisfied citizens.

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South Africa Node, May 2011, pg. 6