Angola 🇦🇴 is an African country which practices Christianity. It was a former Portuguese colony until its independence in 1975.
The constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and press, however, state dominance of most media outlets and self-censorship by journalists limits these rights in practice. In its Freedom on the Net 2013 and Freedom on the Net 2014 reports, Freedom House rates Angola's "Internet freedom status" as "partly free".
There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet. Aside from child pornography and copyrighted material, the government does not block or filter Internet content and there are no restrictions on the type of information that can be exchanged. Social media and communications apps such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and international blog-hosting services are all freely available. There are no issues of intermediary liability for service or content providers, nor are there known instances of take-down notices issued for the removal of online content. The government does deliberately take down its own content when it wants to prevent the public from accessing certain government information.
Censorship of traditional news and information sources is common, leading to worries that similar efforts to control online information will eventually emerge. Defamation, libel, and insulting the country or president in "public meetings or by disseminating words, images, writings, or sound" are crimes punishable by imprisonment. A proposed "Law to Combat Crime in the Area of Information Technologies and Communication" was introduced by the National Assembly in March 2011. Often referred to as the cybercrime bill, the law was ultimately withdrawn in May 2011 as a result of international pressure and vocal objections from civil society. However, the government publicly stated that similar clauses regarding cybercrimes will be incorporated into an ongoing revision of the penal code, leaving open the possibility of Internet-specific restrictions becoming law in the future. The proposed law would have increased penalties for offenses in the criminal code when the offenses were committed using electronic media. The proposed law would have given authorities the ability to intercept information from private devices without a warrant and to prosecute individuals for objectionable speech expressed using electronic and on social media. Sending an electronic message interpreted as an effort to "endanger the integrity of national independence or to destroy or influence the functionality of state institutions" would have yielded a penalty of two to eight years in prison, in addition to fines.
An April 2013 news report claimed that state security services were planning to implement electronic monitoring that could track email and other digital communications. In March 2014, corroborating information from military sources was found, affirming that a German company had assisted the Angolan military intelligence in installing a monitoring system at the BATOPE base around September 2013. There was also evidence of a major ISP hosting a spyware system.
TPA, Angola's public service television station, as well as private-owned networks such as TV Zimbo and Zap (since their takeover by the Joao Lourenço government) are mouthpieces to the MPLA, the ruling party since the country's independence.
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