Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a unique tapestry of natural beauty, featuring a diverse array of ecosystems ranging from lush rainforests to highland terrains. The country has made strides in embracing digital technologies, although access to the internet is still not widespread across all regions. Key challenges include ensuring digital rights, safeguarding online freedom, and maintaining internet privacy. Not much is known regarding specific international affiliations influencing PNG’s digital landscape.
Internet Censorship and Freedom
While there are no reports of the government blocking social media in Papua New Guinea, the government has proposed a draft media policy that could have implications for internet censorship and freedom. According to an article in The Guardian, the draft policy suggests legislative amendments that could legitimize government control over journalists and media outlets. Specific provisions call for renewing licenses and revoking them in cases of violations. Peter Aitsi, the chairman of Transparency International PNG, has criticized the short window given for media and stakeholders to provide feedback on the draft policy, warning that it could undermine media freedoms in the country.
Media Websites and Social Media Access
Media websites and popular social media platforms are generally accessible, and there are no reports of government blockages. However, the proposed draft media policy could pose a potential threat to this accessibility if it were to pass.
While Papua New Guinea currently lacks a comprehensive legal framework governing digital rights, the proposed draft media policy is a development that could substantially change this scenario. The policy could set a precedent for increased government control over media outlets and journalists.
Papua New Guinea’s digital landscape is entering a phase that could see significant changes, particularly concerning media freedoms and government control. The proposed draft media policy, if enacted, could pose challenges to the relatively free digital space currently enjoyed in the country. As such, vigilance is advised for users and media stakeholders in keeping updated on evolving laws and policies that could impact their digital rights and privacy.