Bloggers in Tanzania are to pay $900 to secure license to operate after the government enacted new regulations to regulate the activities of online publishers.
TheTanzania’s new regulationstitled Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations 2018, were released in March.
The government has signaled that it would now verify and charge all bloggers in the east African country, which means these online publishers would be paying annual fee of around $400 after securing licenses.
Its not online bloggers that would be affected by this latest regulation but online radio and television streaming services, online forums and social media users are also be suffer the same fate.
Under the new regulations, the Tanzania government reserves the power to grant or revoke permit if a site publishes content that “causes annoyance, threatens harm or evil, encourages or incites crimes” or jeopardizes “national security or public health and safety.”
Owners of sites could also be forced to remove “prohibited content” within 12 hours or face fines not less than five million shillings ($2,210) or a year in prison.
The new move has been condemned by many who consider it an attempt to restrict the rights of people to freely speak and publish their opinion.
The government of Uganda has also announced plans to begin taxing its citizens who use social media as part of efforts to raise revenue.
The country’s Finance Minister Matia Kasaija is reported by Reuters to have said that each mobile phone subscriber using platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook would be charged $0.027 per day (200 Ugandan shillings).
About 23.6 million people out of Uganda’s 41 million population use mobile phones and 17 million use the internet.