President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ongoing brutal crackdown on opposition supporters, rights defenders, labour leaders, and ordinary Zimbabweans, and recent Internet blockade, “betray promises to create a new Zimbabwe,” said the U.S. State Department in a statement issued this week.
In yet another clear manifestation of Zimbabwe’s burgeoning digital authoritarianism, the Mnangagwa regime imposed a total blockade on the Internet in a futile attempt to conceal security forces’ “systematic torture” and extrajudicial killing of more than a dozen people during last week’s protests against the president’s hiking of fuel price by 150%.
In yet another example of the burgeoning digital authoritarianism of President Emmerson Mnangaga’s post-Mugabe Zimbabwe, police recently charged a Twitter user for retweeting a tweet parodying Priscilla Chigumba, the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
Data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica’s scandalous harvesting and use of Facebook user data highlights the urgent need for robust public debate on the emerging problem of “surveillance capitalism” in our increasingly digital society, suggests Jennifer Cobbe, the co-ordinator of Cambridge University’s Trustworthy Technologies strategic research initiative.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposed plan to dismantle net neutrality threatens democracy and the free exchange of ideas and information via the Internet. Even if the FCC votes to repeal net neutrality this week, the fight to save the must continue.