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New regulations to govern SIM registrations

13 December 2013, 17:19

Nairobi -  Principal Secretary for Information and Communication Technology, Joseph Tiampati, has called for strengthening of regulations that govern Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards registration in order to protect mobile phone subscribers from criminals.

He said this while unveiling a stakeholders’ forum to review SIM card registration regulations.

“The proposed regulation will protect mobile phone subscribers from using pre-activated SIM cards that have not been registered,” said Tiampati. Addressing stakeholders during the opening of a forum on the review of the SIM card registrations regulations, the he said measures must be put in place to lock out criminals from utilizing ICT infrastructure to carry out activities such as kidnappings, hate messages, threats, and terrorism that threatened peace in the country.

"In September this year, the Government carried out a spot check to establish adherence to the SIM card registration regulations. From the spot check, it was clear that many dealers and retailers were selling pre-activated SIM cards without following the laid down procedures and regulations,” he said.

Tiampati said the proposed regulations, which he said had been subjected to stakeholder consultation, had addressed key issues relating to unregistered SIM cards such as the prohibition of sale of pre-activated SIM cards.

He said the Government is looking into ways of utilizing the biometric database of the Registrar of Persons to enhance SIM card registration process.

This, he said, would go a long way in ensuring that criminal elements do not use fake ID cards to register SIM cards.

According to statistics from the Communications Commission of Kenya approximately 2,5 million mobile subscribers had un-registered SIM cards.

It is against this background that the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology, after consultations with the stakeholders, established a technical committee to urgently review the SIM card registration process in Kenya with an aim of achieving full compliance.

This came amid a rise in cases of criminal activities being conducted by use of mobile phones.

However, Communications Commission of Kenya representative Mutua Muthusi, said that the levels of unregistered SIM cards dropped to 71 percent from 81 percent following the exercise conducted in September.

- CAJ News


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