Kenya distances itself from US-led pact against internet shutdowns

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Kenya distances itself from US-led pact against internet shutdowns


Colonel (Rtd) Cyrus Odhiambo Oguna, the government spokesman. PHOTO | COURTESY

Kenya has distanced itself from a United States listing of 60 signatories to an agreement that commits countries from arbitrarily shutting down the internet. 

Kenya, Cape Verde, Niger and Senegal are the only African countries on the US-led “Declaration for the Future of the Internet” (DFI) list.  

The DFI also commits countries to refrain from using the internet to undermine the electoral infrastructure and influence election results.

They are also committed to refraining from blocking or degrading access to lawful content, services and applications, and also limit access to personal data by government agencies to the extent only permissible by law.

Other listed signatories include the US, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Japan and Ukraine.

Digital authoritarianism

Senior US government officials said the pact comes on the back of “rising digital authoritarianism, where some states have been acting to repress freedom of expression, to censor independent news sources, to interfere with elections, promote disinformation around the world, and deny their citizens other human rights”.

The US said the signatories to the pact had committed to “promote a global internet that advances the free flow of information” as well as protecting human rights.

“This Declaration represents a political commitment among Declaration partners to advance a positive vision for the internet and digital technologies. It also reaffirms and recommits its partners to a single global Internet – one that is truly open and fosters competition, privacy, and respect for human rights,” said the White House in a statement.

Read: The heavy price Africa pays for digital violation

‘Erroneous’

But government spokesperson Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna has dismissed the listing terming it “erroneous”.

“Our…

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