The Tanzanian government has perfected plans to charge bloggers (online publishers) over 900 dollars for a licence.
According to Tanzania’s new regulations titled Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations 2018, released last month and signed by the country’s minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Harrison Mwakyembe, the government would verify and licence all bloggers in the country and charge them an annual fee before they start operating online.
The new provisions also affects online radio and television streaming services, online forums and social media users.
To be an authorised online content provider, applicants are expected to fill 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, besides future growth plans.
But even after providing this documentation, authorities still reserve the right to revoke a permit if a site publishes content that “causes annoyance, threatens harm or evil, encourages or incites crimes” or jeopardizes “national security or public health and safety.”
Officials could also force managers to remove “prohibited content” within 12 hours or face fines not less than five million shillings ($2,210) or a year in prison.
With these new regulations in place, there have been concerns that the only positive part is, it allows the government to effectively police the internet.
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