Tongan parliament adopts new bills to tighten internet access

12 Oct 2015

Tonga’s national Parliament has taken steps to control internet access in the country, rushing two new communications bills through that will set up a new regulatory body with powers to block selected content for internet users, along with other measures that critics argue could infringe individual rights. The two new bills have been proposed by the Minister for Communication Siaosi Sovaleno who says that they are vital for the development of the country’s communication industry. The minister said that the existing telecoms legislation, the Communication Act 2000, was becoming outdated and needed amending in order to deal with advancements in modern communications technology. As such, the third reading of the two bills was carried unanimously by the House on 6 October, enabling the new Communication Bill 2015 to be adopted, and ultimately the establishment of the new independent regulator.

Tonga, MEIDECC