South Africa’s Internet freedom is under threat, but some people have been working hard to make sure that our access to the digital world doesn’t get restricted.
The controversial Film and Publications Amendment Bill has received great resistance from South Africans who feel that it threatens Internet freedom in the country.
Right2Know argued that Cabinet was attempting to push through the “Internet censorship regime” despite massive public opposition.
“We believe the record of public comment will confirm that the majority of South Africans want a free Internet,” said Right2Know.
One of the people fighting against the Bill is Michalsons attorney Nicholas Hall.
“We have been working hard to make sure that our access to the digital world doesn’t get restricted. It seems that our efforts are paying off,” said Hall.
Hall questions whether the Act is even relevant any longer – an argument which has been adopted by the Parliamentary Legal Services.
Hall raised this, and numerous other points, against the Bill:
- The Bill seems to have been drafted using an old version of the Film and Publications Act – the Bill references sections that were repealed by earlier amendments and court rulings.
- The Bill fails to take into account the Constitutional Court case of Print Media South Africa v Minister of Home Affairs, which ruled pre-publication classification unconstitutional.
- The Act aimed to serve two main purposes: to protect children from harm through making child pornography illegal, and to enforce the first by requiring pre-publication classification.
- If the Constitutional Court regards the second purpose as unconstitutional, the only thing left would be the illegality of child pornography. But child pornography is already made illegal by the Criminal Law Sexual Offences Amendment Act.
- This means that the Film and Publications Act has no meaningful reason to exist anymore.
“It is very unlikely that the committee will approve the Bill, and we are confident that it will be scrapped and sent for a full redrafting,” said Hall.Source: http://mybroadband.co.za/news/internet/184812-saving-south-africas-internet-freedom.html