Official: Kenya unlikely to shut down internet during vote -

Official: Kenya unlikely to shut down internet during vote

Credit: financialpost.com

  • About: 2 months ago
  • 8 views

NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya’s government is “unlikely” to shut down the internet during next month’s presidential elections but some social media might be shut down as needed, government officials said Monday.

Communication Authority of Kenya chief Francis Wangusi said they are not thinking of shutting down the internet but warned that it should not be used to release alternative election results.

However, the chairman of the National Cohesive and Integration Commission, Francis Ole Kaparo, said that “if it’s necessary then some social media would be shut down.” The commission was formed to monitor hate speech and incitement after post-election violence a decade ago killed more than 1,000 people.

Observers have warned of possible violence around the upcoming elections. Two people were shot and wounded Sunday during a rally for a gubernatorial candidate in the capital, Nairobi.

“There are terrible people on social media who are hell-bent on causing unnecessary anxiety across the country,” Kaparo said.

The Communication Authority is tracking down words on social media that are likely to lead to incitement and violence, and whenever any is found officials “pull the systems down,” Wangusi said.

“So tell Kenyans that there is nowhere where you can avatar yourself, even in social media, without us physically tracking where you are,” he said.

Kenya’s government has pushed to set up cybersecurity systems ahead of the Aug. 8 vote but has been vague on the systems’ capabilities, including for surveillance. Last month, rights group Privacy International said the involvement of Kenya’s national intelligence agency in the systems is concerning, “given how the NIS operates outside of legal frameworks to surveil individuals.”

A spokesman for leading opposition candidate Raila Odinga said they fear the cybersecurity systems will be used for election fraud.

Odinga challenged President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win in the 2013 elections, alleging that internet communication was set up among Kenyatta’s party, the electoral commission and a call centre that allowed electoral fraud. The Supreme Court upheld Kenyatta’s win.

Kenyatta is running for re-election.

Governments in neighbouring Burundi, Uganda and Ethiopia have shut down internet access during elections. Rights defenders say such blackouts can facilitate serious abuses.

——

This version corrects the number of dead in post-election violence a decade ago to more than 1,000.



Follow Us on Twitter

Tags

#ap

Related stories with Official: Kenya unlikely to shut down internet during vote

Clients win class action brought against accounting firm -World News
Clients win class action brought against accounting firm 2 months ago
Plaintiff lawyers in a class action case have successfully sued the accounting firm that audited the books of a defunct securities dealer
Canadian miner’s tennis ball-sized ‘diamond in the rough’ proves too big to sell -World News
Canadian miner’s tennis ball-sized ‘diamond in the rough’ proves too big to sell 2 months ago
Bidding for the over 1,000 carat stone stalled at $61 million — short of the $70 million reserve. So what do they do with it now?
TMC to go for all-out fight against Modi government in Parliament -World News
TMC to go for all-out fight against Modi government in Parliament 2 months ago
The Trinamool Congress has decided to launch an "all-out fight" against the Modi government in the monsoon session of Parliament and corner it over its alleged "failures".
Presidential poll: Sacked TMC MLAs, rebel Congress legislator in Tripura vote for Kovind -World News
Presidential poll: Sacked TMC MLAs, rebel Congress legislator in Tripura vote for Kovind 2 months ago
Six sacked MLAs of Trinamool Congress (TMC) and one opposition Congress MLA out of the total 60 in Tripura assembly today voted for NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind.
Omar asks Mehbooba to explain China’s role in worsening Kashmir situation -World News
Omar asks Mehbooba to explain China’s role in worsening Kashmir situation 2 months ago
The opposition leader attacked the Jammu and Kashmir chief minister after the later accused China of meddling into the State.
Manipur man dies when locals carried him to hospital in an excavator due to lack of medical facilities -World News
Manipur man dies when locals carried him to hospital in an excavator due to lack of medical facilities 2 months ago
The lack of medicines and ambulance made the locals of a Manipur village take a patient to a hospital in Myanmar in the bucket of an excavator. He died on the way. 
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh to launch Uber bike taxi service in Punjab next week -World News
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh to launch Uber bike taxi service in Punjab next week 2 months ago
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh is set to flag off the first set of 100 Uber bike taxis under a new scheme aimed at generating jobs for the state’s unemployed youth.
Ryan Gosling is a grimy, scrappy man on the run in this 'Blade Runner 2049' trailer -World News
Ryan Gosling is a grimy, scrappy man on the run in this 'Blade Runner 2049' trailer 2 months ago
What is Blade Runner 2049? More to the point: why is Blade Runner 2049? The latest trailer offers up a few more scraps of detail on the Ridley Scott sequel's future-world story, but you'll have to watch real closely to puzzle it out. If nothing else
Facebook is dangerous for Democracy—here's why -World News
Facebook is dangerous for Democracy—here's why 2 months ago
Digital technology has revolutionized the modern world but as tech becomes more intelligent, its dangers on society become more transparent. From Trump’s tweet depicting himself wrestling ‘CNN’ to the ground to the detailed Facebook ta
Future Has Announced the Special Guests for His Upcoming The Future Hndrxx Tour -World News
Future Has Announced the Special Guests for His Upcoming The Future Hndrxx Tour 2 months ago
Weeks on from officially revealing that WizKid would be joining him on his Future Hndrxx Tour, Future has ramped things up by adding a host of new names to the bill. Bringing some serious combined firepower over the course of the tour's 34-city run, Ty D
Here are the 9 startups in Techstars and Amazon’s new Alexa accelerator -World News
Here are the 9 startups in Techstars and Amazon’s new Alexa accelerator 2 months ago
The Alexa Accelerator, a new program Amazon is running in partnership with Techstars, kicked off its first class on Monday. Nine startups from across the globe will spend the next three months in Seattle at the new Amazon Alexa Accelerator, which will sup
Under Armour All-American is ‘2,000 percent’ committed to Alabama and a surprise visitor on campus -World News
Under Armour All-American is ‘2,000 percent’ committed to Alabama and a surprise visitor on campus 2 months ago
Jordan Davis, a 4-star outside linebacker from Southwind High School (Memphis, Tenn.), has that future Alabama mentality. He's been committed to the Crimson Tide since December 2016 and hasn't wavered from his commitment at all. The post Under Armour All-