Liberia, a West African nation known for its lush landscapes and rich history, has a growing internet infrastructure but still faces challenges with respect to internet freedom, privacy, and government surveillance. Although the country is a democratic republic with constitutional protections for freedom of expression, there have been instances where these freedoms have been compromised, both online and offline.

Freedom of Expression and Censorship

Freedom of expression is generally protected under Liberia’s constitution, but there are caveats that allow for restrictions in the interest of national security, public order, and public morality. While the internet in Liberia is relatively open, there have been incidents where the government has exercised control over media outlets and journalists. For example, in 2019, the government temporarily shut down Roots FM, a radio station critical of President George Weah, for allegedly inciting violence and spreading hate speech. This raises concerns about how such measures could extend to online platforms. Additionally, Liberia’s 2010 Freedom of Information Act does provide for public access to documents, but it has limitations on national security grounds, which could potentially be applied to online information.

Government Surveillance

There’s limited public information on the extent of government surveillance in Liberia. However, the absence of robust data protection laws means that citizens may be vulnerable to unwarranted data collection or surveillance. The National Security Agency (NSA) is the primary intelligence institution in the country, but there is limited transparency about its operations, especially concerning online surveillance.

Social Media Access and Data Retention

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are freely accessible in Liberia and play a significant role in the country’s social and political discourse. However, there are no specific regulations governing data retention by ISPs, leaving users vulnerable to potential data misuse or unauthorized surveillance. During times of political unrest or elections, social media has been closely monitored, and there have been reports of government critics facing intimidation or legal repercussions.

Impact on Privacy and Security

Liberia does not have comprehensive data protection laws, leaving a significant gap in the protection of citizens’ online privacy and data. The absence of these laws makes it easier for both government and non-governmental organizations to potentially misuse or mishandle personal data. While there have been no widespread reports of government surveillance, the lack of transparency and regulation in this area remains a concern for the privacy and security of internet users in Liberia.


Liberia has made strides in improving internet access and freedom, but challenges remain in the areas of privacy, data protection, and potential government surveillance. The absence of comprehensive legislation governing these areas presents risks to Liberians’ online privacy and freedom of expression. As internet usage continues to grow in Liberia, it will be important to monitor how the government addresses these issues and what impact they will have on the digital rights of its citizens.

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