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
Ghana moots lifting of smartphone import taxThe Government of Ghana is set to consider the lifting of import tax duties on smart phones. Read More
Broadband ‘boosts growth’Every economy today requires broadband for growth and prosperity, says Joseph Tiampati, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology. Read More
CAK: all systems go for Universal Service FundKenya's long-awaited Universal Service Fund has finally become a reality and it aims to bridge the digital divide. Read More
Khama spells out ICT roadmap in SONAIn his first National Assembly address after his reelection, Botswana President Ian Khama told the nation that the implementation of the National Research, Science, Technology and Innovation policy (RSTI) has started. Read More
Ghana to launch first phase of National Fibre Network soonThe Government of Ghana is expected to officially commission the completion of work on the fibre optic network connecting the eastern corridor linking Ho in the Volta region and Bawku in the Northern Region of the country by the end of December this year. Read More
Botswana streets to come under surveillanceSelected streets in both big and small cities as well as villages will be under the permanent glare of video surveillance according to recent reports. Read More
NIPOST facilities to deepen digital transactionsNigeria’s Ministry of Communications Technology has said the infrastructure of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) would be deployed to boost digital transactions in the country, especially mobile money services. Read More
US$240 million to create Congo-Brazzaville’s digital economyCongo-Brazzaville needs 119 billion FCFA (about US$240 million) to create a powerful and competent digital economy. Read More
African, Norwegian leaders discuss accelerated infrastructure developmentMore than 400 African and Norwegian leaders, including 30 ambassadors from Norway and Africa, discussed how to accelerate African infrastructure through Norwegian-African work, trade and growth at the Norwegian-African Business Summit in Oslo. Read More
FEATURED STORYGSMA: half a billion mobile subscribers in SSA by 2020
The number of unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will pass the half billion mark in 2020, says a new GSMA report.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSVMware Study: Businesses can Take Three Weeks to get Employees Mobile-Ready
EMEA businesses say concerns over trust, ownership and delivery capability may hold back taking advantage of the mobile cloud-era.