Zambia bans WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook during elections
Zambia bans WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook during elections

According to digital rights organization Access Now and internet watchdog NetBlocks, WhatsApp and other apps have been blocked in Zambia during the ongoing parliamentary elections in Zambia.

The ban affects government Internet service providers and other private networks and may prevent voters from accessing an important means of communication during elections.

Zambia's local news agency Lusaka Times writes that officials from the Zambian Ministry of Information and Radio are considering shutting down access to the internet ahead of election day in order to prevent the spread of false information about the elections.

NetBlocks monitored the sharp drop in election day internet traffic from WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, apparently confirming that the government pushed through with the plan.

Information that improves voter security is often disseminated through social media and messaging apps. From waiting time to vote to potential electoral fraud.

But now Zambian voters using the affected network have to switch to a VPN in order to communicate.

Measurements show that the WhatsApp server can no longer be accessed from Thursday afternoon. About an hour later, other platforms followed.

Zambia bans WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook during elections

Restrictions can restrict the free flow of information on the Internet and undermine the transparency of elections when voting.

Technical data shows that websites other than the affected platforms are usually not affected. This corresponds to a technology for restricting online content near the application layer. So it has nothing to do with maintaining or disabling the physical layer. Otherwise, the Internet services will continue to operate.

The results are based on real-time network analysis data and testing by contributors. Coverage was supplemented by 30 points of view.

These restrictions have been placed in the network of the state-owned Zambian company ZAMTL. Airtel Zambia, MTN, and Liquid Telecom.

Zambia, joined by Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, Guinea, Togo, Benin, Mauritania, Mali, Cameroon, and other countries in the region faced internet outages and restrictions on social networks during the election period.

Previous Post Next Post