SA supports internet anti-human rights amendment at United Nations

Human rights on the internet refers to how states control what citizens can access online.

This past Friday, a resolution entitled “The promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet” was adopted by the United Nations when more than 70 states supported it.

Under the resolution, states are bound to refrain from “measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt access to or dissemination of information online”.

South Africa along with 15 other nations, supported an alliance spearheaded by Russia and China to remove this provision from the resolution. This would give countries the right to switch off the Internet for any reason, such as during an election or in the aftermath of a terrorist attack.

Andrew Smith, legal officer at NGO Article 19, which focuses on issues of freedom of expression, joins Pippa Hudson on the line from London.

Smith says South Africa's stance is very worrying.

We are concerned that South Africa, which has one of the strongest constitutions in the world, arguably on freedom of expression and non-discrimination, were taking this stance in this important debate.

Andrew Smith, legal officer, Article 19

South Africa took questionable positions on other issues too, says Smith.

Not just on internet and human rights, but on other issues at the Human Rights Council, of civil society space, on the protection of lesbian, gay and transsexual people, it also took a negative position.

Andrew Smith, legal officer, Article 19

The resolution was passed however, and the amendment lobby was unsuccessful. So while human rights resolutions are political commitments, different from treaties, it does require South Africa to abide by this commitment on these issues.

Listen to the entire conversation below:

Read More
Govt needs to rethink '16 Days' campaign, says professor

Govt needs to rethink '16 Days' campaign, says professor

All the money spent on the two-week-long campaign could be put to better use, into on-going programmes and social interventions.

New child passports in lieu of unabridged birth certificate next year

New child passports in lieu of unabridged birth certificate next year

Families traveling overseas may have an easier time navigating the borders once the child passport is introduced in February 2017.

Twitterstorm and charges opened over Hout Bay woman's 'racist' Facebook post

Twitterstorm and charges opened over Hout Bay woman's 'racist' Facebook post

South Africans have responded with outrage to the offensive comments made by Cape Town local, Vanessa Hartley, on Facebook.

Amputee Paul Steyn completes 7 000km walk across SA on prosthetic leg

Amputee Paul Steyn completes 7 000km walk across SA on prosthetic leg

Social activist and amputee Paul Steyn trekked across Mzantsi for 15 months, raising money to donate prosthetic limbs to others.

WATCH: SA 'keeper scores stunning overhead kick in last minute

WATCH: SA 'keeper scores stunning overhead kick in last minute

Baroka FC goalkeeper Oscine Masuluke has soccer fans in awe after his epic performance in the 96th minute, scoring an equaliser.

Trevor Noah schools 'colour blind' right-winger on racial politics

Trevor Noah schools 'colour blind' right-winger on racial politics

Trevor Noah and US commentator Tomi Lahren got into a heated debate over her views on Black Lives Matter and race relations.