Kenyan government seeks to regulate WhatsApp, Skype and other OTT Services

In a bid to ensure some measure of control over the very popular Instant Messaging services, the Kenyan government through the Communication Authority is seeking to have telecoms collect and submit user data.

“Given that providers of OTTS are likely to gather their subscribers’ data and may not be domiciled in Kenya,” read a statement by CA.

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At the moment, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is in search of a consultant to study and determine how the over-the-top services (OTTS) operated by international companies such as Facebook, which runs WhatsApp, and Skype owner Microsoft, could be regulated.

Read More: What are Over the top (OTT) services?

According to the Communication Authority’s regulations, owners of Facebook and Microsoft operated services will have to abide by security and confidentiality provisions. These OTTS have for a long time operated in legal Grey-areas due to lack on legislation to govern it.

The rise of smartphones and the use internet has been said to be the cause of the decline in the number of messages sent per month per subscriber in the recent years.

The laws that are yet to be formulated could also centre on how these internet-based services comply with requests from security agencies for release of user data as it applies to operators like Safaricom when directed by the courts.

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