Angola

Angola

Partly Free
64
100
A Obstacles to Access 12 25
B Limits on Content 30 35
C Violations of User Rights 22 40
Last Year's Score & Status
60 100 Partly Free

Overview

Internet freedom in Angola has improved under the administration of President João Lourenço, who has presented transparency and the fight against corruption as priorities of his administration. Self-censorship continues to decline, in large part because there is greater confidence that the government will not arrest users for online expression. People are also more able to use social media for activism and community building than in the past. However, a set of media laws that came into force in 2017, known as the Social Communication Legislative Package, includes provisions that could be invoked to restrict speech. Though so far they do not appear to have been abused, they pose an ongoing threat to free expression. An ongoing economic crisis has affected the viability of some online outlets. The government’s perceived ability to monitor and intercept the data and communications of Angolan citizens is a major concern.

Angola has been ruled by the same party since independence, and authorities have systematically repressed political dissent. Corruption, due process violations, and abuses by security forces all remain common. Since Lourenço’s election in 2017, the government has taken steps to crack down on endemic corruption and has eased restrictions on the press and civil society. Nevertheless, serious governance and human rights challenges persist. Lourenço succeeded President José Eduardo dos Santos, who had been in power for 38 years.

Key Developments

June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2019

  • Access to the internet in Angola is low, but has been growing steadily. A government-promoted project to create free internet hotspots has improved access, especially in rural areas (see A1 and A2).

  • The main information and communications technology (ICT) regulator in early 2019 fined ZAP, an internet service provider (ISP) for increasing its prices in a manner inconsistent with state regulations (see A2 and A5). 

  • The government retains some level of control over the ICT sector through the direct and indirect shareholder participation of government-controlled entities such as the national oil company. Politically exposed people also remain among the largest shareholders of the country´s two major telecom companies (see A4). 

  • A new penal code approved in January 2019 effectively decriminalized same-sex relations, enabled freer online discussion of issues affecting LGBT+ people (see B7).

  • The new penal code also outlined a number of crimes pertaining specifically to media, which carry fines and jail sentences. These include “abuse of press freedom,” defamation crimes, publication of fake news, and spreading information obtained fraudulently. The criminalization of press crimes is contrary to the president’s calls for a more open society (see C1).

  • In July 2018, prominent journalist Rafael Marques de Morais was acquitted of defamation charges, in what was seen as a major victory for free expression (see C3).

A Obstacles to Access

Internet and mobile phone penetration both remain low, hindered largely by high costs and poor infrastructure that limit access—particularly in rural areas. Free Wi-Fi hotspots have made some headway in improving connectivity. Politically exposed people and government-controlled entities, such as the national oil company, Sonangol, have direct and indirect stakes in Angola´s main ICT companies, exposing these companies to political influence. The ruling party maintains effective control of Angola’s nominally independent regulatory bodies.

A1 0-6 pts
Do infrastructural limitations restrict access to the internet or the speed and quality of internet connections? 26

Access to the internet in Angola remains very low, but has been growing steadily. According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), more than 5.9 million users accessed the internet in 2018,1 amounting to over 19 percent of the population. There were about 13.39 million mobile phone users in 2018, about 45 percent of the population. 3G and 4G coverage and penetration reach 85 percent and 13.8 percent of the population, respectively.2 The relatively small gap between internet use rates and mobile internet penetraion rates suggest that most users access the internet on mobile devices.

Poor infrastructure significantly hampers ICT access. However, the situation is improving somewhat, with the country’s fractured electricity system now serving 72.7 percent of the urban population,3 but still only 8 percent of the rural population,4 according to the latest World Bank data. Power outages remain frequent. Internet speeds are limited by the ADSL technology most fixed broadband connections are based on.5

The South Atlantic Cable System (SACS), a submarine fiber-optic cable connecting Brazil and Angola that aims to reduce the bandwidth costs associated with the distance that internet traffic has to travel from Europe and the United States, was completed in May 2018.6

A2 0-3 pts
Is access to the internet prohibitively expensive or beyond the reach of certain segments of the population for geographical, social, or other reasons? 13

Access to the internet is too expensive for many people, especially in rural areas. However, the government and some private companies have made efforts to establish free wireless hotspots.

Angola Online, a government-promoted project, has established a number of hotspots throughout the country that have expanded the availability of free internet access.1 According to Miguel Cazevo, head of the newly-created National Institute for Promotion of the Information Society, free hotspots have been established at locations in 13 of the country´s 18 provinces.2 In the capital, Luanda, and in some other cities, free hotspots sponsored by local beverage and banking companies3 have become increasingly available in public spaces such as airports, shopping centers, and major universities.4

Poor infrastructure particularly affects those in rural areas, where voice and data services are of much poorer quality, and are subject to frequent cuts and extremely slow connection speeds. Due to the country’s fractured electricity system, urban areas are more likely to have connectivity (see A1).

High costs remain the main hindrance to increasing ICT access for the majority of Angolans. A lack of competition in the ICT industry contributes to the high cost of services (see A4).5 President João Lourenço has expressed concern about the cost and quality of internet services.6 Under his administration, INACOM in early 2019 fined ZAP for increasing its prices in a way inconsistent with state regulations.7

The recent economic downturn reportedly contributed to a decline in mobile phone penetration and has made internet access less affordable. 8 Angola saw a nearly nine percent increase in unemployment between 2017 and 2019, when it reached 28.8 per cent of the working age population.9 According to World Bank data, GNI per capita has decreased from $5,010 in 2014 to $3,370 in 2018.10

Monthly internet subscriptions from leading ISPs including ZAP range from $46 (2 Mbps) to $275 (50 Mbps),11 while gross national income (GNI) per capita was estimated at $3,370 per year, or $280.83 per month,12 in 2018. In contrast, USB dongle devices that provide wireless access cost between $50 and $60. Consequently, few Angolan households have internet access at home. The cost of internet on mobile networks is estimated at $1.60 for 100MB.13 Mobile internet packages come at a monthly cost of about $45, while internet cafes charge approximately $1 for 30 minutes.

Prices for mobile data, call plans, and broadband internet in Angola are high compared to neighboring countries—10 times higher than South Africa’s, for example. Lower-cost packages, such as those offered by Movicel and NetOne, are associated with poor speeds and overall service quality.14

According to the EIU´s The Inclusive Internet Index 2019, Angola ranks 10th out of 31 African nations in the “Relevance” category, which is concerned with local language and relevant content.15

A3 0-6 pts
Does the government exercise technical or legal control over internet infrastructure for the purposes of restricting connectivity? 56

There were no restrictions on connectivity to internet or mobile phone networks reported during the coverage period—though the Angolan government’s indirect control of telecommunications infrastructure via state-owned Angola Telecom may enable the government to partially control internet connectivity if desired.1

Angola’s domestic backbone is currently comprised of microwave, VSAT (very small aperture terminal), and fiber-optic cables. Connection to the international internet goes through the West Africa Cable System (WACS), which is owned by Angola Cables, and the South Atlantic 3 (SAT-3) cable, which is operated by Angola Telecom, Main One cable, and WASACE. Angola Cables also manages the country’s internet exchange point (IXP), ANGONIX,2 which grew to become the third largest IXP in Africa in 2017.3 Angola Cables, which is also responsible for the SACS (see A1), is a consortium of the country’s telecom operates, with primary control belonging to Angola Telecom (51 percent) and Unitel (31 percent).

12,000 (7,450 miles) of the 22,000 km of the fiber-optic cables in Angola belong to state-owned Angola Telecom.4

A4 0-6 pts
Are there legal, regulatory, or economic obstacles that restrict the diversity of service providers? 36

The state and the political-military elite still dominate the main service providers, in spite of government plans to reduce the state’s presence in the tech sector. Politicians, government allies, and the state-owned oil company, Sonangol, can exert some control on the ICT sector through direct and indirect ownership of shares in internet and mobile service providers (ISPs).

Sonangol holds 3 of the country’s 18 ISPs—MSTelcom, Nexus, and ACS—is a major shareholder in Angola Cables, and has 25 percent of Unitel,1 the country’s largest ISP.2 The previous Sonangol chief executive, Carlos Saturnino, announced the company’s intention to sell its stake in Unitel by the end of 2019.3 The national telecom company, Angola Telecom, is a major shareholder in Angola Cables with 51 percent, and provides its own internet services.4

In November 2017, the government announced plans to privatize a 45 percent stake of Angola Telecom’s fixed-network services.5 After the coverage period of this report, in August 2019, a plan for privatizing numerous state holdings, including telecoms, was laid out. MS Telecom, Net One, Unitel, TV Cabo Angola, and Multitel are to be privatized in 2020. Angola Telecom and Angola Cables will be privatized in 2021.6

Alongside Angola Telecom, two private operators, Unitel and Movicel, provide mobile phone services, and both have indirect ownership ties to politically exposed people. State-owned Sonangol owns 25 percent of Unitel, the larger mobile phone operator,7 while Isabel dos Santos, former President Jose Eduardo dos Santos’ daughter, maintains a 25 percent stake—the same as Geni, an entity reportedly owned by General Leopoldino do Nascimento, a loyalist of the former president.8 Unitel is the dominant player, with a share of 73 percent of the market. Movicel retains 27 percent parket share. 9

Five ostensibly private Angolan companies split ownership of 80 percent of Movicel,10 though these companies reportedly have majority shareholders who are senior officials within the former president’s office. Movicel’s remaining capital is held by two state enterprises, Angola Telecom and Empresa Nacional de Correios e Telégrafos de Angola.11 Isabel dos Santos’s half-sister, Welwitschia dos Santos, reportedly holds an indirect stake in Movicel.12

A bidding process for licensing a fourth telecom operator was reopened in spring 2019.13

The 2017 Law on Electronic Communications further enhances the government’s ability to control the country’s ICT sector.14 On paper, the law aims to ensure that ICTs in Angola are developed to play a fundamental role in ensuring citizens’ universal access to information, transparency in the public sector, and participatory democracy. It also sets broader goals of poverty alleviation, competitiveness, productivity, employment, and consumer rights.15 However, it also contains a broadly worded clause allowing the head of government to “intervene” if ISPs jeopardize “social functions” or “gravely compromise the rights of subscribers or users.”16 Analysts have interpreted this clause as potentially allowing the president to exercise control over the whole sector.

A5 0-4 pts
Do national regulatory bodies that oversee service providers and digital technology fail to operate in a free, fair, and independent manner? 14

Angola’s powerful ruling party, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) maintains effective control of regulatory bodies.

The Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology is responsible for oversight of the ICT sector, while the Angolan Institute for Communications (INACOM), established in 1999, serves as the sector’s regulatory body. INACOM determines the sector’s regulations and policies, sets prices for telecommunications services, and issues licenses. The regulatory body is, on paper, an independent public institution with both financial and administrative autonomy from the ministry. In practice, its autonomy is fairly limited.1 Its director general is appointed by the government and can be dismissed for any reason.2 In addition, the Telecommunications Ministry can influence staff appointments. Other ministries are often involve themselves in sector policy, leading to politically influenced regulatory decisions.

Under the new administration of President Lourenço, INACOM has exercised its regulatory powers more assertively, chiefly in containing consumer-price increases by telecom operators.3

B Limits on Content

Online content remained unrestricted during the coverage period. With President Lourenço presenting transparency and the fight against corruption as causes of his administration, online journalists have begun to more actively highlight cases of corruption, abuse of power, land grabs, police brutality, and demolitions. However, both state agencies and private-sector actors often deny advertising revenue to media outfits that criticize the political-military elite. Separately, a severe economic crisis has also led to financial constraints at numerous outlets.

B1 0-6 pts
Does the state block or filter, or compel service providers to block or filter, internet content? 66

Despite a history of censorship in print and broadcast media, there have been no known incidents of the government blocking or filtering online content in Angola, and there are no restrictions on the type of information that can be exchanged through digital media technologies. A set of new media laws that took effect in 2017 have been criticized as restrictive, but no websites to date have been censored under their provisions (see C1). Social media and communications apps such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and international blog-hosting services are freely available.

B2 0-4 pts
Do state or nonstate actors employ legal, administrative, or other means to force publishers, content hosts, or digital platforms to delete content? 44

There were no reports of forced content removal during the coverage period, though informal government demands on users to remove content from the internet have been documented periodically. In the last known case, a Facebook user arrested in April 2015 for a critical post about a military general was forced to remove the post and apologize in exchange for his release.1

  • 1. Interview by Freedom House consultant in May 2015.

B3 0-4 pts
Do restrictions on the internet and digital content lack transparency, proportionality to the stated aims, or an independent appeals process? 44

While some Angolan laws applicable to the digital sphere contain harsh restrictions, in practice these have not been enforced on websites or users.

In January 2017, the government followed through with the implementation of a set of new media laws known as the Social Communication Legislative Package. The package created a regulatory body with powers to ban websites (see C1). Article 10 of the new Press Law states that “all social communication media” have the responsibility to inform citizens “in accordance with the public interest.” Also of a broad scope is article 7, which sets as limits to the exercise of freedom of the press constitutional and legal provisions “to safeguard the objectivity, rigor and independence of information,” to “protect the right to good name, honor and reputation…the State Secret, the Secret of Justice, the Professional Secret and other guarantees of those rights, under the terms regulated by law,” as well as to “defend the public interest and democratic order” and protect “health and public morality.”1 Critics say these effectively enable the government to control and censor critical information posted on social media or elsewhere online.

B4 0-4 pts
Do online journalists, commentators, and ordinary users practice self-censorship? 34

In the past, self-censorship has been pervasive and commonly practiced by journalists at both state-run and private print outlets, though bloggers and social media users were less reluctant to express criticism of the president and ruling party. With President João Lourenço presenting transparency and the fight against corruption as causes of his administration, journalists and newsrooms, including public outlets, have begun to more actively highlight cases of corruption, abuse of power, land grabs, police brutality, and demolitions.

B5 0-4 pts
Are online sources of information controlled or manipulated by the government or other powerful actors to advance a particular political interest? 34

Government efforts to manipulate online content are still sporadically reported. Some independent online news outlets report receiving regular calls from government officials directing them to tone down criticism, or refrain from reporting on certain issues.1

Members of the ruling MPLA own and tightly control a majority of the country’s media outlets, including those that are the most widely disseminated and accessed. Of the main dozen or so privately owned newspapers, most are held by individuals connected to the government. Infighting between supporters of president Lourenço and former president José Eduardo dos Santos has spilled over to online media, with most outlets becoming critical of the previous administration. Some analysts suspect that increasingly critical coverage of dos Santos has come as a result of pressure put on outlets since his departure.

Bots on social media have become more prevalent and influential in recent years. A study by the political consultancy firm Portland Communications found that during the August 2017 elections period, potential bots represented 9 percent of social media “influencers,” and that 94 percent of the bots were based outside of Angola, including in South Africa and the United States. The study found bots second to journalists and media organizations in overall social media influence during the election.2

  • 1. In 2015, editors at Rede Angola, reportedly received instructions from the authorities not to publish any news about an ongoing defamation case against journalist and blogger Rafael Marques de Morais. (Source: Based on interviews with anonymous online journalists and editors.)
  • 2. “How Africa Tweets 2018,” Portland Communications, accessed September 25, 2018, https://portland-communications.com/publications/how-africa-tweets-2018/.

B6 0-3 pts
Are there economic or regulatory constraints that negatively affect users’ ability to publish content online? 23

Both state agencies and private-sector actors often deny advertising revenue to media outfits that criticize the political-military elite.

Separately, a severe economic crisis has led to financial constraints at numerous outlets, and reports of wage arrears and layoffs are frequent. Recent reports indicated that individuals at some smaller, cash-strapped newspapers have accepted bribes to write critical, poorly substantiated stories about government personalities, including the president.1

B7 0-4 pts
Does the online information landscape lack diversity? 34

As a result of low rates of ICT access, radio, television, and print outlets remain the primary sources of information for the majority of Angolans. Both online and traditional media suffer from some degree of government interference, especially those with ties to the MPLA, which limit the diversity of viewpoints (see B5).

Nevertheless, news outlets are increasingly willing to scrutinize the political-military elite and report critically on government and power in general. The main sources of alternative and independent online news in Angola include Club-K and Maka Angola. Also widely read are outlets funded by foreign governments, such as Lusa (Portugal), VOA (United States), RFI (France) and DW Africa (Germany). The effective decriminalization of same-sex relations in January 2019 has enabled freer online discussion of issues affecting LGBT+ people.

While the online information landscape represents a increasing variety of groups and viewpoints across the country, the concentration of internet access in urban areas hampers regional and ethnic representation.

B8 0-6 pts
Do conditions impede users’ ability to mobilize, form communities, and campaign, particularly on political and social issues? 56

While occasional arrests of protesters and online activists have muted digital activism and mobilization in the past, use of social media to mobilize support for various causes has become more common in recent years. Mobilization platforms are freely available to users, and citizens criticize the government and react to alleged wrongdoings within Angola’s lively social media sector. Youth groups in particular have increasingly flocked to Facebook to call out government corruption, reflecting a gradual weakening of the culture of fear within civil society.1

After the removal in January 2019 of a section of the penal code that was used to criminalize same-sex relations,2 a new LGBT group, Iris, was legalized3, and is now active on social networks.4

C Violations of User Rights

Prominent journalist and blogger Rafael Marques de Morais was acquitted of insult crimes in July 2018 in a victory for press freedom. However, new press laws include penalties for media crimes, including hate speech and the intentional publication of false news. The government’s ability to monitor and intercept the data and communications of Angolan citizens without adequate oversight is a major concern, particularly among human rights activists and journalists, though the full extent of the government’s surveillance capabilities and practices is unknown.

C1 0-6 pts
Do the constitution or other laws fail to protect rights such as freedom of expression, access to information, and press freedom, including on the internet, and are they enforced by a judiciary that lacks independence? 26

The Angolan constitution provides for freedom of expression and the press, and the 2011 Law on Electronic Communications and Information Company Services provides for citizens’ rights to privacy and security online, among other provisions regulating telecommunications.

Nevertheless, Angolan laws also include problematic language that may infringe on internet freedom (see C2).1 In January 2017, former President José Eduardo Dos Santos enacted a set of new media laws known as the Social Communication Legislative Package, which included a new Press Law, Television Law, Broadcast Law, Journalists Code of Conduct, and statutes to establish the Angolan Regulatory Body for Social Communication (ERCA). The latter body was created to regulate journalists’ conduct and investigate producers of online content without judicial oversight, and has the power to suspend or ban websites that fail to abide by its standards of “good journalism.”2

The inaugural members of ERCA’s Governing Board , composed of 11 members, were appointed in July 2017—5 appointed by the majority party in parliament; 3 by the opposition; 1 by the government; and 2 by stakeholders in the sector.3 The ECRA has since been plagued by controversy and infighting.4 Among its first mandates was to establish a commission for the accreditation of journalists, but no substantial progress has been made to that end.5

Meanwhile, the judiciary is subject to considerable influence from the ruling political-military elite, with Supreme Court justices appointed to life terms by the president and without legislative approval.

C2 0-4 pts
Are there laws that assign criminal penalties or civil liability for online activities? 14

Stringent laws regarding state security and defamation run counter to constitutional guarantees. Article 26 of the 2010 State Security Law penalizes individuals who insult the country or president in “public meetings or by disseminating words, images, writings, or sound” with prison sentences of up to three years.1 The 2006 Press Law holds authors, editors, or directors of a publication criminally liable for defamatory content.2 If the author does not reside in the country or the text is not signed, the law establishes the circumstances in which the editor, director, or both may be held criminally responsible for such content.3 Article 82 of the Press Law criminalizes publication of a text or image that is “offensive to individuals,” which would be punished under the penal code as defamation and slander.4

A new penal code approved in January 2019 contains articles pertaining specifically to crimes committed in the media. These include fines and up to six months’ imprisonment for “abuse of press freedom,” a charge that can be drawn by speech deemed as inciting crimes, disseminating hate speech, or defending fascist or racist ideologies. The measure also covers those who disseminate texts, images, or sounds obtained by fraudulent means, as well as those who intentionally publish fake news. Under the new code, those who insult someone through the media can be fined and sentenced to up to six months in prison, and defamation can draw fines and a prison sentence as long as one year.

Computer crimes are also included in the new code, which, for instance, punishes illegitimately accessing information systems. Article 444 stipulates that "if access is achieved by breach of security rules or if it has been carried out to a protected service, the penalty is from two to eight years' imprisonment".5 A special investigative police (SIC) unit for cyber criminality is reportedly being set up.

C3 0-6 pts
Are individuals penalized for online activities? 46

High-profile prosecutions of journalists and activists have taken place in the past. There were no major cases of prosecution for legitimate online activity during this report’s coverage period, though journalists still faced harassment by police.

In July 2018, prominent journalist Rafael Marques de Morais, who runs the critical news blog Maka Angola, and journalist Mariano Brás Lourenço were acquitted of insult crimes, in what was widely applauded as a victory for press freedom in Angola.1 In May 2017, Marques de Morais had been charged with insult over an October 2016 article that accused Angola’s attorney general of illegal business practices in his purchase of state-owned land,2 and which also suggested that then president Dos Santos had supported the attorney general’s actions. Bras Lourenço was also charged for having republished the article in the weekly print newspaper, O Crime.3

While the acquittal of both journalists has encouraged journalistic independence, substantial doubts remain about the integrity of the justice system, and people are still occasionally penalized for online activities. Hitler “Samussuku” Tshikonde, a member of the 15+2 group of youth activists tried and acquitted in 2016 for an alleged coup attempt, was detained in May 2019 after he posted a video on social networks in which he asserted that after having been targeted by dos Santos, the current President João Lourenço "was nothing." He further warned Lourenço against arresting his fellow activists.4 He was detained for 72 hours but ultimately freed.5

C4 0-4 pts
Does the government place restrictions on anonymous communication or encryption? 34

There are no reports of substantial restrictions to encryption. SIM card registration is mandatory, however, and hampers the ability of mobile phone users to communicate anonymously. SIM cards must be registered directly with INACOM, the ICT regulator that operates under government oversight. The process requires an identity card or driving license and tax card for national citizens, or a passport with a valid visa for visitors.1

C5 0-6 pts
Does state surveillance of internet activities infringe on users’ right to privacy? 36

The government’s ability to monitor and intercept the data and communications of Angolan citizens without adequate oversight is a major concern, particularly among human rights activists and journalists, though the full extent of the government’s surveillance capabilities and practices is unknown.

Investigative reporting during the dos Santos administration revealed its possession of sophisticated spyware and plans for its targeted use, as well as its use in practice against at least one journalist, in 2013.1 In June 2015, Wikileaks published leaked internal emails from the Italian surveillance equipment company Hacking Team, which revealed efforts by Angola’s intelligence agency, SINSE, to acquire Hacking Team’s notorious Remote Control System (RCS) in 2013.2 Sold to numerous repressive regimes around the world, RCS spyware has the ability to steal files and passwords and intercept Skype communications, among other features. The documents did not reveal whether the Angolan government eventually purchased or installed the spyware.

More recent investigations have revealed increased engagement with the Chinese government on surveillance methods.3 According to December 2017 research by the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law, there is strong suspicion that Chinese companies were providing support to the government’s signals intelligence program on mobile phones and the internet, which aimed to target human rights organizations and defenders and grassroots social movements.4 Chinese tech companies Huawei and ZTE have been active in Angola since the 1990s;5 ZTE is reportedly involved with Angola’s military telecommunications.6

C6 0-6 pts
Are service providers and other technology companies required to aid the government in monitoring the communications of their users? 36

Strong state influence in the ownership structure of Angola’s telecoms, particularly mobile phone operators, suggests that the authorities are likely able to require service providers to assist in the monitoring of communications.1 Such interweaving of political and business interests through family connections is compounded by the lack of rule of law.

The 2017 Law on Protection of Information Networks and Systems mandates that telecom operators store traffic and location data for “investigation, detection and repression of crimes.” According to article 37, interception of communication by security services requires prior approval by a magistrate.2 Article 22 mandates that service providers allow the prosecutor general or a magistrate access to data, including location, or systems storing information considered "evidence."3 Article 23rd mandates that operators store all data for at least a year.

Law 22/11 on Personal Data Protection has been in place since 2011, and provides the right for data subjects to “access, object to, rectify, update and delete their personal data.”4 Failure to comply with the law by data controllers based or operating in Angola can draw a fine of up to $150,000.

C7 0-5 pts
Are individuals subject to extralegal intimidation or physical violence by state authorities or any other actor in retribution for their online activities? 45

Online activists and journalists are sporadically targeted with threats, though they face less violence and harassment than journalists who operate mainly in the traditional media sphere. No incidents of severe violence for online activities were reported during this report’s coverage period.

C8 0-3 pts
Are websites, governmental and private entities, service providers, or individual users subject to widespread hacking and other forms of cyberattack? 23

Independent and diaspora news websites have been taken down by technical attacks in the past, though there were no reported incidents during this report’s coverage period.

Previously, the critical news blog Maka Angola was a repeated target of DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks before receiving technical assistance from Jigsaw’s Project Shield, which protects websites from powerful technical attacks. (Jigsaw is a technology incubator associated with Google.)1 Rafael Marques de Morais, who runs Maka Angola, was also a frequent target of technical attacks,2 but he has received assistance from digital security nonprofits to safeguard his online activities.

Country Facts

  • Freedom in the World Status

    Not Free
  • Networks Restricted

    No
  • Websites Blocked

    No
  • Pro-government Commentators

    No
  • Users Arrested

    No

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