Project Aliyense

Civil society group says planned online regulation under IBA Act, an affront on media freedom (Video)


Chapter One Foundation Executive Director, Linda Kasonde, says the planned online regulation under the new Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) Act is an affront to media freedom and freedom of expression.

Kasonde said most of the countries which have regulations in place for online content like Podcasts are well known for dictatorship type of governance.

She said this during the Foundation’s public forum on the IBA Act titled the new IBA Act: “Are media freedoms under threat” in Lusaka on Friday evening.

“It’s worthy listing the countries that regulate online broadcasting and these area as follows China, Eriteria, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Belarus, Burma and Tagministan and if you pay attention to this list you will notice that these are well established dictatorship,” Kasonde stated.

She urged government not to join such countries which do not respect freedom of expression and in the end deny people access to the right information.

She added that the Cyber Security Act also aggravated the situation in Zambia of inhibiting democratic values and media freedoms.

Read More: ‘Cybersecurity law must be blind to personal biases,’ Chinsali District chief speaks on digital rights (Video)

Kasonde advised that government should not create unnecessary barriers to information that would inhibit the market place to ideas from freely being allowed to flow.

“So if Zambia does decide to enact the new IBA Act what would be the potential consequences to freedom of expression in our country,” she asked.

Kasonde noted that with the existing IBA Act, the country had seen the law weaponised and used to shut down private or independent broadcasters such as Prime TV, Komboni Radio and KBN News.

She said the proposal on regulating public broadcasters which had been getting away with a number of issues as a result of politics was welcome and would be supported and not the regulation of online broadcast.

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