The Star (Nairobi)

5 December 2012

Kenya: Noose Tightens On Phone Hate Mongers

Photo: Capital FM
Mobile users to be assigned IP addresses.

Mobile operators have been ordered to allocate unique numbers, internet protocol (IP) addresses, to all phones using their network to curb spread of abusive, inciting and fraudulent messages.

This will go hand in hand with the ongoing registration of Sim Cards whose deadline is set at end of this month.

The identification efforts are being intensified to avoid any violence incidences carried through mobile and internet tools in the coming general elections.

The regulator, Communiction Commision of Kenya and the ministry of information yesterday said Mobile operators are exposing themselves to litigation by ignoring the IP address procedure.

Currently the operators buy the Internet Protocol Numbers to allocate to phones in bundles, in effort to cut costs, but now they will be required to have unique number for each cellphone or tablet.

"Operators have been dillydallying on this, but we will have a deadline soon," said CCK director of information technology, Michael Katundu.

The phone information will be linked to other government databases to be used to combat incidences of hate speech and cyber crime since they will be able to trace the users.

CCK said the procedures will also be extended to cyber cafes where customers will be required to produce identification before using any computer.

Information PS also gave a strong warning that there will be no extension date for the registration of Sim cards after December 31.

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