Internet censorship in Malawi

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There is little or no Internet censorship in Malawi, but Internet access is limited by high cost and lack of infrastructure.

There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms. Individuals and groups can engage in the peaceful expression of views via the Internet, including by e-mail. Lack of infrastructure and the high cost of Internet connections limits Internet access.[1]

Malawi law prohibits the publication or transmission of anything "that could be useful to the enemy", as well as religiously offensive and obscene material. Malawi participates in regional efforts to combat cybercrime: the East African Community (consisting of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda) and the South African Development Community (consisting of Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) have both enacted plans to standardize cybercrime laws throughout their regions.[2] There is a Malawi Censorship Board, but its primary function is the review of books.[3]

According to International Telecommunications Union statistics for 2009, approximately 4.7 percent of the country's inhabitants used the Internet.[4] In August 2009 the Malawi Internet Service Providers' Association (MISPA) listed 35 licensed ISPs (21 OK or operational, 14 not operational).[5] The Malawi Internet Exchange (MIX) became operational in December 2008.[6]


  1. ^ "2010 Human Rights Report: Malawi", Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, 8 April 2011
  2. ^ "ONI Regional Overview: Sub-Saharan Africa", OpenNet Initiative, September 2009
  3. ^ Censorship of Historical Thought: A World Guide 1945-2000, Antoon De Baets, Greenwood Press, 2002, updated 2005, pp. 339-342
  4. ^ "Malawi country profile", International Telecommunications Union (ITU), 2009, accessed 31 May 2011
  5. ^ "List of Licensed ISPs in Malawi as of 10 August 2009", Malawi Internet Service Providers' Association (MISPA), accessed 31 May 2011
  6. ^ "Malawi Internet Exchange (MIX)", Malawi Internet Service Providers' Association (MISPA), accessed 31 May 2011