Kisii County Women Representative Janet Ong’era has called for the regulation of social media platform, WhatsApp. While contributing to the Computer and CyberCrimes Bill, she lamented at the abuse of the platform through extortion and adding people to groups without their consent.

“A time has come for us to regulate the social media”, she said. She added that she is particularly concerned about extortion. “We have young boys and girls who have become extortionists. They extort money from Members of Parliament and public servants, and from anybody else or anything that uses the social media. Unless we regulate the use of the social media, we will have a society with young people who do nothing but wait for money they have not worked for,” she asserted.

In her understanding of the Bill, she feels it will also regulate WhatsApp. “I am very happy that we can now regulate the social media, particularly issues that appear on WhatsApp. We need that forum to be regulated. You cannot just be put on WhatsApp without your consent. I expect that these are issues the Bill has taken into account. I am happy that they were included.”

Also read Cyber harassment to attract fines as high as sh20 million or ten years’ imprisonment

In the various crimes in the Bill, hefty fines and jail terms are proposed. They are sh5 million, 10 years, 20 years or 30 years’ imprisonment or combined. Once the Bill is signed into law by the President, an MP can bring more penalties to this Bill after six months.