South Africa’s Ministry of Communications is undertaking a ICT Policy Review and the Advisory Panel released a Framing Paper to kick off public consultation on the process. The Framing Paper outlines the principles that should underpin a Broadcasting and Information communication Technology (ICT) Policy that deepens the right to know in South Africa.
The Right2Know (R2K) Campaign recently hosted a civil society engagement with the Ministerial Policy Review Panel and made a submission to the Panel largely welcoming the fact that the paper focused on first principles in the communications sector that echoed fundamental human rights listed in Chapter Two of the constitution. However the Campaign raised concerns regarding the economic principles contained in the Framing Paper that risk undermining the realisation of a universal right to communicate and problematise the emphasis on local content and diversity at the expense of media and communication that enable international understanding and solidarity and the fragmentation of common media spaces that can facilitate national dialogue.
The Campaign further calls for the principled rejection of attempts by the state to abuse national security to undermine the right to privacy of communications users and to make communications networks insecure through building communications surveillance capacities into networks.
To access the R2K submission visit http://www.r2k.org.za/wp-content/uploads/R2K_submission_ICT_POlicy_FramingPaper_final.pdf