Free press, freedom of expression and an open Internet are now in Tanzania’s past

This is Africa

Tanzania has finally signed into law a controversial and slightly absurd new regulation to govern social media and blogging.

The regulation includes interesting laws such as:

– A licence fee charge for Tanzanians operating online radio stations and video (TV) websites.

– Application for licences to blog to be submitted to the TCRA

– Aside from registration fees and license application fees, online stations, websites and bloggers will be required to pay an annual fee as well.

– Everyone in Tanzania will be required to have a password (PIN) on their mobile phones. Failure to comply will result in a fine of more than 5 million Tanzanian Shillings (about US$2,000) or even 12 months imprisonment, or both, depending on what the court decides.

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

Given the stipulated fees needed to even run a simple personal text blog if you live in Tanzania, you would have to spend an initial (approximately) US$900 in license fees. On top of these exorbitant costs, to receive authorisation as an online content provider, applicants are expected to complete a form detailing the estimated cost of investment, the number of directors and stakeholders in the platform, their share of capital, staff qualifications, expected dates of commencing operations, and future growth plans.

Source: This is Africa

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