REPORT: Tanzania orders all unregistered bloggers to take down their sites
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DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania ordered all unregistered bloggers and online forums on Monday to suspend their websites immediately or face criminal prosecution, as critics accuse the government of tightening control of internet content.
Several sites, including popular online discussion platform Jamiiforums, said on Monday they had temporarily shut down after the state-run Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) warned it would take legal action against all unlicensed websites.
The article goes on to state the following:
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 $900 for a license. Per capita income in Tanzania is slightly below $900 a year.
Digital activists say the law is part of a crackdown on dissent and free speech by the government of President John Magufuli, who was elected in 2015. Government officials argue the new rules are aimed at tackling hate speech and other online crimes, including cyberbullying and pornography.
“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,” the regulator said in a statement on Monday.
The statement said legal action would be taken against any unregistered websites posting new content.
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— EACSOF Secretariat (@eacsof) June 11, 2018
High Court in Tanzania issues temporary junction re: new law which states bloggers/online media forums must apply for a license.
(44 to apply for the license,$440 fee to obtain the license & a $440 annual license fee) & that Blogs will be monitored by communication authority) pic.twitter.com/i5dPikvdwr
— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) May 4, 2018
Tanzania govt has ordered all unregistered bloggers and online forums on Monday to suspend their websites immediately or face criminal prosecution
New law passed in March make it mandatory for bloggers, forums & even YouTube channel owners to pay a $900 license fee pic.twitter.com/fEwmYVgcRq
— Povo News (@povonewsafrica) June 11, 2018
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