To: Minister of State Security David Mahlobo

Tell Mahlobo: #HandsOffSocialMedia!

Tell Mahlobo: #HandsOffSocialMedia!

We the undersigned demand a withdrawal of any proposal to “regulate” social media from the State Security Agency or any other state agency. We demand full protection for freedom of expression on social media.

Why is this important?

We need to send a message to Minister of State Security David Mahlobo: #HandsOffSocialMedia

This week, Mahlobo (who heads the most powerful arm of the government's security cluster) stated that government is considering regulations for social media, with the aim of dealing with “fake news” and “false narratives” [1]. This is the latest proposal following other worrying policies and laws which would restrict freedom of expression on social media. These include the Cybercrimes Bill[2], the Film and Publications Board’s online censorship regulations[3], and the draft Hate Speech Bill[4].

Social media platforms are the place that millions of South Africans come to access and share information freely. This is where we exercise our freedom of expression. It’s a vital part of democracy.

The State Security Agency has no role in deciding what we should and shouldn’t be able to read, share or say online. The State Security Agency is one of the most powerful government institutions, with the power to spy on people’s communications and target anyone who is viewed as a ‘threat’[5].

The Minister of State Security has no right to limit our freedom of expression and access to information. The Minister of State Security cannot be given the power decide what news is “fake” and which narratives are “false” —democracy is about citizens exercising their own judgement and deciding for themselves!

In fact, we have seen across the world that governments that try to “regulate” social media in the name of “national security” has led directly to internet censorship and a clampdown on freedom of expression [6] . In the last year alone these include Brazil, China, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. We will not let Mzansi go the same way!

Citizens have spoken: #HandsOffSocialMedia! No spooks regulating the internet!

LINKS:
[1] http://www.r2k.org.za/2017/03/07/state-security-hands-off-the-internet-no-to-spooks-regulating-social-media/
[2] https://mybroadband.co.za/news/government/195276-south-africas-new-cybersecurity-bill-will-affect-everyone-who-uses-the-internet.html
[3] http://www.r2k.org.za/2016/05/25/films-publications-bill-internet-censorship/
[4] http://www.r2k.org.za/2017/02/03/hate-crimes-hate-speech-bill/
[5] http://www.r2k.org.za/2016/11/18/mahlobo-must-go-get-the-securocrats-out-of-democratic-spaces/
[6] http://www.r2k.org.za/2017/03/07/state-security-hands-off-the-internet-no-to-spooks-regulating-social-media/


Reasons for signing

  • Social commentary is a democratic and basic human right
  • The Fifth Estate is an instrument of democracy. Now why would you have a problem with that?
  • Our right to a free media is a Constitutional right not a tool of your corrupt Marxist Chinese ideology mr mahlobo!

Updates

2017-03-29 10:14:51 +0200

1,000 signatures reached

2017-03-28 11:22:31 +0200

500 signatures reached

2017-03-16 10:18:34 +0200

We've already got hundreds of people behind the #HandsOffSocialMedia demands.
Help us get to 500 signatures! Please send this petition to 10 people by Facebook, email, WhatsApp etc

2017-03-10 07:15:04 +0200

100 signatures reached

2017-03-09 16:06:02 +0200

50 signatures reached

2017-03-09 14:22:22 +0200

25 signatures reached

2017-03-08 21:43:48 +0200

10 signatures reached