The state-run Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) just issued an order that lots of politicians in Europe, USA and generally the whole western “first world” would LOVE to be able to issue.
Quoting Reuter via Slashdot, regulations passed in March made it compulsory for “bloggers and owners of other online forums such as YouTube channels to register with the government and pay up to USD 900 for a license” (which is roughly equivalent to Tanzanian yearly per capita income). On June 11th, 2018, TCRA declared that:
- “All unregistered online content providers must be licensed before June 15. Starting from today June 11 until June 15, they are prohibited from posting any new content on their blogs, forums or online radios and televisions”
- Anyone violating the new regulations faces a fine of at least 5 million shillings (USD 2,200), imprisonment for a minimum 12 months, or both.
Digital activists say the law is part of a government crackdown on dissent and free speech. Government officials argue the new rules are aimed at tackling online crime like hate speech, cyberbullying and pornography.
and if you’re thinking “gee, thanks heaven I’m not in Tanzania”…
please stop for a minute to contemplate, just to make a FEW examples (*):
- first and foremost, the idiotic disaster that may happen to free speech in Europe NEXT WEEK
- “closer scrutiny of algorithms” in UK
- “obscene content” bill on personal computers in South Carolina
- USA federal judges ruling that a single tweet may be copyright infringement
- the recurring “blog killer” law proposals in Italy
Trust me, there are a lot of western politicians that would absolutely love to be Tanzanian these days.
(*) if you think I should add more similar laws or law proposals to that list, just email me, thanks