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
Nigeria launches MasterCard-branded National eID cardsThe Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has begun the issuance of 13 million MasterCard-branded National eID cards, with President Goodluck Jonathan the first to receive his card. Read More
Minister warns about social mediaA junior minister has advised Batswana to be very cautious of the now popular social media, saying it has become a scourge and harbinger of many criminal acts including terrorism. Read More
Which African president has the best website?The presidency of Togo, a tiny West African nation of six million people, has the best presidential website in Africa out of the 40 countries surveyed by Jeune Afrique magazine. Read More
Multimillion Kwacha traffic project questionedPlayers in the transport system have questioned the decision to settle for MOVESA and Fischer Consortium as the eligible bidder to upgrade Maltis. Read More
Statistics Botswana conducts ICT surveyStatistics Botswana (SB) has embarked on the first-ever nationwide Botswana Information & Communication Technology (ICT) survey, targeting 2,440 households. Read More
Rwanda Online platform officially takes offThe Government of Rwanda and Rwanda Online Platform Limited have kicked off the first phase of the Rwanda Online platform, set to establish an integrated public service platform for Government to Business and Government to Citizen services. Read More
Congo Brazzaville, Cameroon customs go hi-techCongo-Brazzaville and Cameroon have agreed to seek the help of ICTs to computerise their customs services. Read More
Candidates decry lack of internet in villagesAspiring parliamentary candidates have decried lack of technology in the villages bordering the urban spaces and beyond. Read More
COFEK supports Matiangi over impeachment callsThe Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) has defended Ministry of ICT cabinet secretary Dr Fred Matiangi after the ICT Association of Kenya (ICTAK) called for him to be impeached. Read More
FEATURED STORYSafaricom-Equity battle for mobile banking hots up
Equity bank's entry to the mobile banking and telephony industry is still hanging in the balance with London-based global association of mobile operators (GSMA) calling for independent audit.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.