Olewe Owiti, acting director of information, told journalists the committee is open to the idea of radicalising legislation that would see a total ban of internet pornography, as is the case in Arab countries.
Owiti called particularly on the CCK to strengthen its position by reviewing section 84D of the Kenya Communication Amendment Act 2008 that is charged with dealing with the “publishing of obscene information in electronic form”.
“We fear that such content may be corrupting not only the youth, but our children as well,” Owiti said. “The responsibility of protecting our children is not specific to the government, NGOs, internet service providers (ISPs), media or parents rather; it is the sole responsibility of all of us. Let us work together to protect our children and future generations from moral decadence and social disorder.”
According to section 84D: “Any person who publishes or transmits or causes to be published in electronic form, any material which is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest and its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied therein, shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both.”
With the rise of social media the country has seen increased pages and groups based around sexual activities while there is also an increase of cases of young girls featuring in pornography.
Among the changes that the committee is asking for are higher penalties to act as a deterrent for anyone wishing to engage in the industry. Currently the fine is KSh200,000 (US$2,350).
Owiti concluded: “Although the government policy allows for consumer choice and encourages investment in a competitive environment supported by open access regulations and infrastructure sharing, and the establishment of universal access mechanisms aimed at ensuring that all citizens have access to ICT services, that does not give providers a ticket to abuse the good will.
“There must be a level of responsibility by the online community on the postings in the internet.”