Kenya 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.

Director General Francis Wangusi said the state agency had acquired surveillance systems to monitor social media and mobile phones:

“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.

Source: BBC Africa Live

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