The Internet and Regulatory Responses in Ethiopia: Telecoms, Cybercrimes, Privacy, E-commerce, and the New Media
Whilst Ethiopia has telephone services since 1894 ? not long after its invention?, the history of the Internet in Ethiopia is less than two decades old. The prototype Internet with limited accessibility was introduced only in 1997, and broadband Internet was not widely deployed until recently. This slow pace in the proliferation of the Internet has delayed the legislative responses of the country to the brave new worlds of the Internet. Despite a few laws currently in operation namely the cybercrime and telecom fraud offence laws, most areas of the online environment needs the attention of the Ethiopian legislature. Nonetheless, there are few draft cyber laws that are in the pipeline. This article briefly reviews major legislative developments in telecoms, cybercrime, privacy, e-commerce and the new media. It sketches legislative responses of the Ethiopian legislature to the advent of the Internet by outlining major sources of Internet law and their defining features. The article further considers the salient features of the major draft pieces of cyber legislation that await enactment.
Key terms: Internet, information technology, telecommunications, cyber law, Internet law, e-commerce, Ethiopia