Governments are particularly interested in the economic aspects of digitalization, which they want to harness for the development of their economies. They’re less interested in the social participation that digitalization brings, since people speaking freely could jeopardize their power. Governments want to be in the digital driver’s seat and decide for themselves how people use the Internet by expanding surveillance systems and setting strict regulatory frameworks. Although the details are different in each country, our results show that this remains a general trend. In many African countries, there are cybercrime laws that grant the authorities extensive powers to intervene in the digital communication of their citizens.
The #speakup barometer is a DW Akademie project that examines the connection between digital participation, freedom of expression and access to information. Learn more at www.dw.com/barometer