The Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Bill, 2019, No. 61 of 2019 is now before Parliament. The Bill seeks to amend the Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Act by regulating social media and imposing obligations on the administrators of social media platforms. It also introduces heavy penalties for failure to comply with the new requirements.
On November 11th, 2019, the bill was presented to the public at a public participation forum.
Stakeholders including the Communications Authority pointed to the inconsistency of the Bill’s provisions with those of the Constitution. They also mentioned that the bill replicates provisions in other regulations such as the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act and that if passed, is likely to be challenged before the constitutional court.
The Parliamentary ICT committee stated that the bill failed to meet the constitutional threshold requirement that should be met by all bills before they are published and tabled in Parliament. They will therefore put together a report and recommend that the bill should be withdrawn in its entirety.
The following is a link to comments by the International Centre for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) that could be useful for those interested in engaging with legislators on why the bill does not pass the human rights litmus test.