Kenyan parliament is proposing a law that will fine Kenyans KSh 1 million for refusing to disclose WhatsApp messages.
WhatsApp has been trying to ensure that people’s data is well secured and safe. However, the Kenyan government wants to have the rights to see people’s WhatsApp messages as a matter of security and if you refuse to disclose the messages you may be fined for KSh 1 million.
What will it help the government with?
In case you’re not aware, the govt has an act known as Officials Secret Act of 1968 when this was created it was with the intent of fighting crime such as money laundering, terrorism and cyber crime. This basically means that if you’re needed to offer more information than you feel you should, that’s what the govt would want. As long as you have a phone you will be seen as someone who has data that can be relevant to the govt but now they will have the right to get it from you.
This will also include gadgets belonging to Kenyans that have been used in foreign countries to send information through channels like SMSs, emails and WhatsApp to the country.
Failure to adhere to these rules will mean that you risk a fine of Sh1 million. If not that then a jail term of up to one year.
“Any person who owns or controls any telecommunications apparatus used for the sending or receipt of any data to or from any place outside Kenya, to produce to the Cabinet Secretary or any person named in the order, the original or transcripts of all such data,” says the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2020.
The move also seeks to simply update the law. For example, the proposed law introduces ‘telecommunications apparatus’ that will replace ‘telegrams apparatus’. This is a term that was used before the widespread use of text messages, WhatsApp and emails.