Government Set to Regulate WhatsApp and Skype

  • The Communications Authority (CA) is set to regulate WhatsApp and Skype by having the online services submit data to the government.

    The Authority's plan is to have a measure of control over the two applications similar to what is done to phone calls and text messages.

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

    The regulator will implement the move once a consultant is hired and will be charged with the responsibility of studying and determining how the two over the top services (OTTS) could be monitored as reported by Business Daily.

    According to CA's regulations, owners of Facebook and Microsoft operated services will have to abide by security and confidentiality provisions.

    The OTTS, however, fall in a legally unclear area in the current situation.

    Study outcomes and recommendations of the consultancy will decide on what aspects the regulator can implement as part of its regulatory mandate.

    Reports showed that the recent drop in usage of text messages was as a result of increased use of WhatsApp.

    In the recent years, big telecommunication companies complained that companies such as Microsoft, Google and Facebook enjoyed very minimal regulations.

    The move by the government is set to echo Europe's regulators who argued that such services should be subjected to monitoring.