The Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) has launched the State of the Internet in Kenya 2017 report. The report is the third of its kind and documents significant events in regards to digital rights and the Internet in the past year.
According to BAKE, the report highlights ways in which the internet played a role in Kenya’s 2017 General Election. During the election season, the internet was used by political parties, figures and their supporters to distribute campaign messages. It was also used by some entities to spread false information and propaganda.
The reports notes that the internet remained on during the election period despite fears of an internet shutdown. This was due to the work of Digital rights groups who played a part in ensuring the internet was not shut down during the election period. They accomplished this with online campaigns such as #KeepItOn which played a part in creating awareness and pressuring the government to commit to an open internet.
Additionally, the report notes the interpretation of the courts of criminal defamation and the offence of ‘undermining the authority of a public officer’ to be incompatible with the Kenyan Constitution making abuse of the justice system to suppress freedom of expression difficult.
2017 also saw the rise of awareness on cyber bullying. The Computer and Cybercrimes Bill in 2017 is aimed at addressing Cybercrimes and bullying in Kenya.
2017 saw some gains made in regards to internet security and digital rights. In 2018, different groups look to review and repeal antiquated laws as well as enact new laws to further protect digital rights and enhance internet security.
Find the full report here www.ifree.co.ke/reports.