The Internet Society (IS), a global lobby group advocating Internet freedoms, is opening an office in Kenya this week, to fight for freedom-friendly policies, consumer education and research on Web-related issues.
The IS is known for its hard stance on privacy and internet freedom.
Last week, the lobby group was instrumental in fighting government interference in Internet use at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai.
The government is expected to have a favourable working relationship with the group after siding with its recommendations in Dubai, despite representatives from the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) having chosen to back government regulation of the Internet, only for the Ministry of Information and Communications permanent secretary Bitange Ndemo to change stance.
The group’s known hard stance on privacy and Internet freedom, however, is still likely to bring it into conflict with the Kenyan government over proposals to crack down on cybercrime by monitoring the Internet.
On Friday, Nairobi lawyer George Kithi told HumanIPO that the decision by the CCK to screen mobile phones and Internet usage borders on spying on its citizens, an action he termed as “illegal”.
Kenya joins the 193 International Telecommunications Union (ITU) member states in having an IS presence.