CCK spells out new SMS rules
GOVERNMENT| Oct. 24, 2012, 3:40 p.m.
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), has unveiled new regulations aimed at curbing hate speech ahead of the 2013 general elections.
In the new rules, Content Service Providers sending political messages shall be required to submit SMSs for vetting to the mobile operators at least 48 hours before sending.
To further protect cell phone subscribers from receiving spam messages, CCK has banned transmission of political messages to end users who have not subscribed for the service.
CCK developed the guidelines in consultation with the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the Registrar of Political Parties, mobile network operators and content service providers.
The industry regulator, has also banned transmission of anonymous political messages and mobile operators have been given right to refuse transmitting political messages deemed as offensive to the law.
“The submission will include the verbatim content of the political message, a signed authorisation from the political party or individual sponsoring the political message, and certified copies of registration documents of the political entity or identification documents of the individuals,” reads the blueprint in part.
The regulator said subscribers who individually send inflammatory text messages shall be tracked down and charged with incitement to violence.
The penalty for persons found guilty of using mobile platforms to threaten, incite, abuse, insult, and stirring up ethnic hatred face a fine not exceeding one million shillings or imprisonment for a jail term of not more than three years; or both.
Francis Wangusi, director general of the CCK said the new rules have been necessitated by the 2007/2008 post-election violence that saw over 1000 people killed and close to one million displaced.
“Content service providers will be required to provide evidence of such consent immediately upon request by mobile operators, government agencies or the regulator,” CCK said in a statement.
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
NCA Chairman calls for strong ties between Africa’s telecom regulatorsThe Chairman of Ghana’s National Communications Authority, Eugene Baffoe Bonnie, has emphasised the need for regulatory bodies in the African telecommunications industry to close ranks to ensure a stronger collaborations. Read More
Cybercrooks steal N127b annually in Nigeria, says ComTech ministerNigeria’s ComTech Minister, Barr Adebayo Shittu, has lamented that Nigeria loses N127 billion annually to cyber thieves, warning that if it is not addressed, it posed a great deal of threat to the national economy. Read More
Nigeria's ComTech minister restates need for ICT UniversityNigeria’s Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has restated the need for the establishment of an ICT University in Nigeria, the first of its kind in Africa. Read More
Nigeria tax chief to go after telcos, othersThe Executive Chairman of Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Tunde Fowler, has said the focus of the service this quarter, was to recoup taxes owed by telecoms firms, airlines, and deposit money banks (DMBs). Read More
NCA to mark 20th anniversary with Symposium on RegulationsGhana’s National Communications Authority is set to hold a two day symposium in Accra as part of events to mark its 20th anniversary as a regulator. Read More
NCC pays N1.4 tr into Federation Account, says DambattaThe Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has paid over N1.4 trillion to the Federation Account, the CEO of the regulatory body, Prof Garba Dambatta has said. Read More
NCC pays N70b to Nigeria GovtThe Nigerian Communications Commission says it has remitted N70 billon to the Federation Account in the last one year of Prof Umar Danbatta’s appointment as executive vice chairman and CEO. Read More
GCAA move to register drone operations in GhanaThe Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, the body in charge of running the country’s aviation industry, has embarked on an exercise to register remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), popularly referred to as drones with effect from September this year. Read More
NCA wins CTO Policy and Regulatory AwardThe Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) has awarded Ghana's telecoms regulator the award for Best ICT Policy and Regulatory Initiative for its billing feedback system. Read More
FEATURED STORYFirst-ever Africa Barclays Accelerator programme concludes
Ten fintech companies have concluded the first-ever Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars in Africa.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHEthical Hacking students can’t get a heck of a job
Botswana ethical hacking students report that they are failing to break into the local job market.