Tanzania's independent websites, podcasts and video channels have gone dark as the country's new blogger tax goes into effect


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/06/13/jamii-forum.html


#2

Well, that seems a trifle draconian.


#3

Europe, this is where you are headed.


#4

The $900 USD annual license fee is a substantial amount of money in a country where nearly one-third of the population still live in extreme poverty.

It’s a substantial sum of money, period.


#5

So Tanzaniaing the web is where it’s all going?


#6

Why is our species so fucked up?

Perhaps if I were a person with power, and saw my power being threatened, I would do everything I could to prevent its loss no matter who I hurt. Having never been that person, I don’t know. I like to think I would be different. “Eveyone is the hero in their own life story.”


And as was pointed out, even if you manage to pay it and they grant you a license you are then a state agent. Argh!


If it goes through in Europe, it’s not going to stop there. Trump has already stated that something has to be done about the internet.

And if you think about it, back when 'Merica was “great” there wasn’t an internet…


#7

So, I was asking myself, why should I care? I have never seen a Tanzanian website, nor met one of their people. Human rights are important, but each of us can’t take on every single cause.

But reading the comments above, it becomes clear this could be the trial balloon for the rest of us. Remember when they said the fax machine brought down the Berlin Wall? We can’t have that now, can we?


#8

In all fairness, though, fax machines were super heavy back then.


#9

Allison, our fact checker, needs you to transmit whatever you have of the story, tonight, now, along with your notes," “There is a mojo at the Daily News they’ll let us use…”

“It’s a very modern machine that transmits pages over the telephone. It only takes eighteen minutes a page…”


#10

It matters even if it isn’t about us! I want the web to be weird and full of strange and wonderful things, I want there to be Ugandan memes and livestreams of Slovakian pizza parlors and someone in New Zealand streaming a bootleg tape of Radio Caroline from 1985 for some reason.


#11

I guess the government has never heard of mailing lists or Usenet groups?

Let me make a note of that.


#12

Kind of the inevitable result of the one-party system. There is just no check on power. And for every possible (non-legislative) check that arises (like the Press, the Internet), the party in power will react and counter with an immune response.

I wonder how they’ll counter encrypted VPNs maintaining out-of-country websites? Banning VPNs?


#13

I wonder if China won’t just sell them the technology/sponsor a Great Tanzanian Firewall.


#14

It’s where we’re all headed. Make no mistake, there are plenty of useful idiots in North America (especially the US) who think a dictatorship is a good idea and want those with whom the disagree silenced by any means necessary. To them, sharing the world with anyone who thinks differently from them is intolerable and wiping out dissent is more important to them than human rights. They’re idiots because they believe against all evidence and reason that they’ll be the ones in power instead of the oligarchs they’ll help ensconce and who will turn on them as their reward. Look at the people around you when you’re out in public. A large and growing minority of those people are little Hitlers. Nor are authoritarians unique to any particular ideology.

Unitary states can get there faster. But make no mistake, a duopoly or more is in no way inoculated. Power consolidates. Each party concentrates power more and more as it rotates into power, systematically dismantling any checks and balances, weakening the structure until eventually all that remains is the facade.


#15

Pretty sure davide405 meant this in terms of Internet-regulation (not one party rule), and this only if it were taken to a Tanzanian extreme.

But it wont and it cannot. [Western] Europe and the US have constitutions and institutions are too robust for this. “We’re all headed there”? I doubt this. The early '70s (pre-Watergate) was terrible. The '50s McCarthyism was terrible. We are (still) far from anything like those times, despite Trump’s best efforts.

And yes, Hungary and Poland and the like look terrible and aren’t going to be getting any better soon. No question that those places are in for some dark times: they had weak constitutions, weak institutions.

I don’t know about “innoculated”, but I can promise you that a party reversal in the House or Senate in 2018 will be a healthy check on Trump’s encroachment, and a blue victory in 2020 will erase it completely.

Agreed. Trump’s success has completely remade my concept of what America is. And just how easily a demagogue can succeed, in any country. Americans have a sort of breezy feeling of superiority vis a vis how demagogues have succeeded elsewhere, in that “Oh, that could never have happened here.” Well, it would happen here, if not for the Constitution. And no Constitution can withstand a sustained series of Trumpist Administrations aided by a Trumpist legislature.


#16

Let’s compare notes on that assertion in 2024…


#17

I know, and I wholeheartedly agree with @davide405. I was expanding on what he said, not disagreeing with it in any way.

I sincerely hope you are correct and I am wrong, but I doubt it.

I regard Il Douche as a symptom of a far bigger problem.


#18

Incidentally, people love to exaggerate aout stone age tools.

Here’s urban dictionary.

The Xerox Telecopier, a primitive fax machine, as called by gonzo journalist Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.
…back at Rolling Stone I had to be available to read and edit copy as it came in eight- to ten-page bursts – via the Xerox telecopier (“the mojo wire”), a primitive fax, which had a stylus that printed onto treated paper (at a rate of seven minutes per page) and smelled.

And here’s a retrospective on the Xerox telecopier.

However, at 46 pounds, the Magnafax Telecopier was lighter than previous models and relatively easy to operate. Able to send images and text when connected to any standard telephone line, the Magnafax Telecopier could transmit a letter-sized document in about six minutes — an incredible feat at the time.

maybe the daily news had a particularly old and cranky model.


#19

BadWolf?


#20

And the US if Net Neutrality is completely destroyed. :frowning: