The Kenyan government is considering regulating online messaging applications such as WhatsApp and Skype. According to an article done in the Daily Nation Online platform, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), seeks to study and determine how groups run on Facebook, WhatsApp, and Skype could be regulated. If this move at all succeeds, internet-based service providers could be forced to share data with the government, contrary to the Data Protection Bill, whose debate is still ongoing in parliament.
Here is what the CA has up its sleeve:
Under CA regulation, owners of services such as WhatsApp and Skype will have to abide by “security and confidentiality provisions” demanded by law.
It will study the outcome and recommendations of the study. It will then decide on what aspects it can implement as part of its regulatory mandate.
The CA move comes as global regulators attempt to assert some control over American companies that dominate the sector. European regulators argue that since text messaging and phone calls were regulated, internet Over The Top Services should too.
Big telecoms groups have for years complained that the likes of Google, Microsoft and now Facebook benefit from less regulation. In Kenya, the increased use of WhatsApp has been blamed for the drop in the number of messages sent per month per subscriber recently.