Months after the Gambia government issued a banning decree on all VoIP services and dating sites in the country, the government through Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has issued new directive that will regulate the operations of cyber cafes in the country.
“In exercise of the powers conferred upon the Authority under section 14 (1) (g) of the PURA Act 2001, the Authority hereby makes the following guidelines for the establishment and operations of an internet/cyber cafe’ and application forms”, stated Mr. Ebrima Ceesay of the Authority’s legal department.
According to PURA internet cybers should not have fully enclosed cubicles to discourage the viewing of pornographic materials.
Cyber Café owners should also make sure that unauthorized materials are not viewed, produced or duplicated within their business premises.
Mr. Ebrima Ceesay of the PURA legal department advanced that it is now a requirement for cyber cafe’ operators to post a sign board stating that “Cyber Crimes and Pornography are prohibited” and the service provider shall not also publicly advertise or provide dating services or solicits or hosts dating services.
All computers will also have to be installed with Anti-virus package that should be updated regularly, the new regulations stipulate.
These new regulations are part of the government’s efforts to try and regulate their concerns on online dating sites, pornography and VoIP services that they say eat on the revenues of the national telecommunication company.
The country has been under scrutiny and critism over its stand on online freedom with their legislation.