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CA Speaks to Internet Shutdowns and “Monitoring” ofOnline Comms

14 Jan Posted by in kictanet | Comments Off on CA Speaks to Internet Shutdowns and “Monitoring” ofOnline Comms
Sidney, your observations are spot on. 

There are legal and oversight issues here regarding the CA briefing. 
There is also the issue of civil society PLEADING with the government ‘will you shutdown the Internet during the elections? please do not shutdown the Internet?’ Total confusion. If they want to shutdown communications channels, they should do it knowing they will be legally responsible for violations of a host of laws in Kenya and definitely the Constitution. There is no legal justification whatsoever for a total Internet shutdown. That amounts to collective punishment, unless may be they institute a State of Emergency as Ethiopia did last year. If there are no active shutdowns then we will start to celebrate yet that is what a normal election should be. We are subtly normalizing Internet shutdowns – or better still, information controls online including censorship. 

As a citizen of this republic and as a believer in the separation of powers, I hope the judiciary can offer sufficient oversight on this matter regarding court orders. If this fails, a constitutional interpretation on this can be instituted. 

I also haven’t hear anything from Internet service providers or the business community on this matter. Hopefully we will know who got our back in due course. 

@Sidney, the thread on WhatsApp is a different conversation that happened to be on this one. Apologies for the mixup. 


On 14 Jan 2017, at 14:52, Sidney Ochieng <> wrote:

Hey all,

This discussion I feel has gone off topic slightly; this focus on what technology we use and how well encrypted it is is besides the point. If you checked out Nanjira’s tweets the second one is a photo form the Standard about the CA sending 2b to monitor communication(Sh1.1 billion on a spectrum monitoring system to monitor unauthorised broadcasts, Sh600 million on a social media monitoring system and Sh400 million on  a device management system to closely monitor mobile phones and the activities around them), The article seems to have been taken offline for some reason but the google cached version can be found here

Under which law does the CA have the authority to monitor mobile phones without a court order? If it is by court order, can we have a copy of that order? The data that is collected by these systems, who is its custodian, how long will it be held for? What about my constitutionally right to privacy?(particularly part d of section 31: the right not to have the privacy of my communications infringed)

When was the tendering process for these systems and who is supplying them?(I’ve built social media monitoring tools -for research purposes- would have been nice to get 600m😅)

These systems have been acquired with the stated purpose of preventing a repeat of the 2007/2008 post-election violence. At iHub Research, a team of researchers that Nanjira and I were a part of a team that spent 5 years looking for a link between hate speech online and violence offline and never found one, not even a cursory one.  So the question becomes where did the CA get the notion that this was necessary? Would they care to share their research?

Finally on internet shutdowns? By which law? Or court order? The article says measures like an internet shut-down will only be deployed in a “worst-case scenario” What the hell is a “worst case scenario”? I would like to know in very specific terms what that means and what conditions have to be met for it to be considered a worst-case scenario. 

Last question, what happens to these systems after the election?

If someone from the CA could answer these questions I’d be most appreciative

On 14 January 2017 at 13:28, Moses Karanja via kictanet <> wrote:

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