Kenya’s Communication Authority May ‘Block Internet’ During Elections

Kenya’s Communication Authority (CA), the body which regulates the communication sector, has warned that it could shut down the internet during the 8 August general elections to prevent violence, the private Standard newspaper reports.

“From 2015, we have prepared ourselves for this activity. We have spent Sh1.1 billion on a spectrum monitoring system that will help us monitor unauthorised broadcasts coming from rural areas of the country,” Director General Francis Wangusi explains.

“We have also spent around 600 million Kenya shillings ($5.7m; £4.6m) on a social media monitoring system and 400 million Kenya shillings ($3.6m) on a device management system that will help us closely monitor mobile phones and the activities around them.”

CA says that the surveillance is meant to prevent the repeat of the 2007/2008 post election violence in which 1,500 people were killed and 600,000 displaced.

An internet shutdown will only be used in the “worst-case scenario”, the report says.

Several African governments have resorted to blocking the internet during elections, arguing that that they want to stop the spread of misinformation.[related-posts]

Source: Standard Newspaper
Live Reporting By: Dickens Olewe and Farouk Chothia (BBC Africa News correspondents)


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