Business Daily Kenya:
The government has cautioned politicians, their supporters as well as media owners against misuse of digital platforms to stoke ethnic tensions during the upcoming General Election. Communication Authority of Kenya (CA), chief executive Francis Wangusi said the agency has acquired surveillance systems worth Sh2 billion to monitor online as well as off-line communication networks during This particular year’s election.
He has also disclosed which the Internet could be shut down during the polls should the platform be used to raise tensions, will only in a “worst-case scenario”.
“We have spent Sh1.1 billion on a spectrum monitoring system which will help us monitor unauthorised broadcasts coming through rural areas of the country,” said Wangusi.
CA has also spent Sh600 million on a social media monitoring system as well as Sh400 million on a device management system to enable This particular closely monitor mobile phone activities. He said the systems have been acquired to prevent a repeat of the 2007/2008 post-election violence.
“We are using all possible means to avoid a situation where there is actually too much tension within the country, forcing us to take a drastic step,” said Wangusi.
Internet shutdowns are increasingly being used around the earth, with governments opting for the closure about 50 times in 2016, largely during elections as well as public protests.
Last year, elections in Uganda as well as Gambia saw the Internet as well as international calls banned for several hours, cutting off millions of residents through information sources, while protests in Ethiopia as well as Eritrea met having a similar fate.
A study by the Brookings Institute found which 81 short-term Internet shutdowns across 19 countries in 2015 cost the countries a total of $ 2.4 billion (Sh249 billion).
Wangusi directed media firms to adequately label messages sponsored by political parties to differentiate them through news as well as give equal airtime to all candidates.
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CA invests Sh2b on poll surveillance system