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
NIMC moves to accelerate issue of e-ID cardsNigeria’s National Identity Management Commission has concluded its International Vendors’ Summit aimed at ensuring that citizens who have enrolled for their National Identification Number get their National e-ID Cards on time. Read More
NCS blames shoddy preparations for neglect of IT in electionThe Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has blamed tardiness in project management, and challenges in logistics and security, for neglect of ICT by the government and the electoral umpires. Read More
Rwanda’s ICT private sector strengthens commercial ties with IsraelIn an attempt to fast track growth of the sector and the capacity of the players in the ICT sector, every year the Rwanda’s ICT Chamber chooses priority countries to visit to strengthen business ties and to study the global best practices in business, innovation, workforce development and to ... Read More
Senegal prepares national plan to protect children onlineSenegal is taking action to ensure that its children are protected online and do not become victims of harmful content, cybercrime, bullying and other criminal offences perpetrated by syndicates on the internet. Read More
Ivory Coast moves to close digital divideThe government of Ivory Coast has launched a project to help half a million families own IT equipment and connect to the internet in the next three years. Read More
Mabeo blames cable thieves for erratic ICT servicesBotswana’s Minister of Transport and Communications, Tshenolo Mabeo, has pointed to power failure, vandalism and theft of copper and fibre cables as the main contributors to disruptions in ICT services. Read More
Mascom turns 1717TH February 2015 is the 17th birthday of Mascom, the oldest private mobile telecommunications company in Botswana. Read More
Botswana MPs want live transmission of debatesBotswana Members of Parliament (MPs) have made repeated call for the parliamentary debates to be beamed live each time they are in session. A recent parliamentary seating witnessed a cacophony of MPs reiterating the calls for their debates to get to people in real-time. Read More
BTC Amendment Bill gets thumbs upBotswana’s parliament has approved a Bill that seeks to amend the Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (Transition) Act 2008 to accommodate a clause that cites that the BTC Limited Employee Limited Scheme is a wholly citizen scheme. Read More
FEATURED STORYMalawi Govt denies clinging to ‘Cashgate’ software
The Malawi Government will not exclude the software brand that has been in use for the country’s Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS), but it has rejected reports implying that it is ‘clinging’ to the old system.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya’s digital TV battle hots up
Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.
COMPANY NEWSMTN demonstrates the benefits of its video on demand offering
MTN showcased the benefits of FrontRow when it streamed high bandwidth video content onto multiple mobile devices using its video on demand (VOD) offering.VMware appoints Bask Iyer as chief information officer
VMware has announced the appointment of Bask Iyer to the role of senior vice president and chief information officer (CIO) of VMware.