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Measures to criminalise street SIM sales

15 October 2013, 09:10

Nairobi - The government is set to establish a new set of rules that will govern the sale of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards in an effort to curb the use of unregistered material.

The new measures would outlaw the sale of such material by informal hawkers mostly operating in the streets.

“Mobile phone technology is critical to the security of the country and there is need to manage the infrastructure more seriously," said Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang’i, who however could not specify when the measures will take effect.

"No one would be allowed to purchase SIM cards from hawkers across the road, as has been the norm. No country in the world allows the sale of SIM cards without proper registration and provision of sufficient information by the buyer."

He also pointed out that unregistered SIM cards made it difficult to handle aspects of crime and cyber security.

The announcement comes just days after the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) cautioned mobile phone operators that it would revoke their licenses if they failed to abide by the law.

Reports from the CCK indicate that more than 600 000 active SIM cards are still unregistered.

President Uhuru Kenyatta had earlier ordered the termination of all the unregistered SIM cards to curb criminal activities.

He directed the Information and Communications Technology Ministry to work in collaboration with the CCK and mobile service providers to block all the unregistered SIM cards.

- CAJ News


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