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TANZANIA: Government Censors The Internet With The Introduction Of Cyber Law

By Published April 17, 2018

Tanzania’s government has approved a law to regulate online content introducing a $900 annual fee for bloggers and any one uploading media content in the country.

The new regulation known as the Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations 2018 published by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) came into effect during in March 2018.

Under the new regulations, Tanzanians operating online radio stations and vloggers, websites, including bloggers will be required to apply for a licence, pay a licence fee upon registration as well as annual fees.

The new regulation is Tanzania’s President John Magufuli solution to upholding and policing morals and authenticity on social media at least in Tanzania.

Under the new regulations, government has the power to revoke licence should content providers publishes indecent, obscene, hate speech, extreme violence or material that will offend or incite others, cause annoyance, threaten, or encourage or incite crime, or lead to public disorder.

Online content providers will also be required to remove ‘prohibited content’ within 12 hours or face fines not less than five million shillings ($2,210) or a year in prison.

The new regulations also require all Tanzanians with mobile devices to have a password (PIN) for locking their phones, with defaulters being fined up to 5 million Tanzanian Shillings (approximately $2,000) or 12 months imprisonment, or both depending on what the court decides.

Internet cafés and online platforms are also expected to install surveillance cameras to record and archive activities inside their business premises.

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