Tanzania seeks Chinese help for advanced technological skills for tracking cyber criminals


The government of Tanzania wants to acquire advanced technological skills and capability of tracking cyber criminals. To make the plan possible, Tanzania has sought help from the Chinese.

Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are the currently used social media sites by majority of the Tanzanians and particularly the youth.

Speaking at the China-Tanzania New Media Roundtable in Dar-es-Salaam, Edwin Ngonyani, the Deputy Minister for Transport and Communications said that, “If a person sends an offensive SMS or an e-mail to anyone, we should be capable of following them, make arrests and bring them to justice.”

He however insisted the government should rather keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as it seeks to prevent cybercrime.

“Our Chinese friends have managed to block such media in their country and replaced them with their homegrown sites that are safe, constructive and popular. We aren’t there yet, but while we are still using the platforms we are having, we should guard against their misuse,” Ngonyani advised.

Mr. Ngonyani said that social media content has power to shape ideas and the mindset of people. He added that if it remains uncontrolled, it can lead to instability.

“In America, where most of these sites originate, they often say freedom must be unlimited. But in our case, we must find ways to make sure that while a person enjoys and is free to say anything on the platforms, there are mechanisms to hold them accountable for what they say,” said Mr. Ngonyani.

The government of Tanzania has tried several times to control social media though they had not been successful.

In April 2015, Tanzania enacted the cybercrimes Act, but was strongly criticized by stakeholders terming it to be limiting the freedom of information.

June 21 2016, a cybercrime incident happened when Mulokozi Kyaruzi a Tanzanian, was reported facing charges after he allegedly shared comments on WhatsApp insulting the president, John Magufuli.

The government believes that, with social media under their control, it would be able to tackle cybercrimes including child pornography.

The two countries’ Round table was co-sponsored by the government of Tanzania and the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), which is the central internet censorship, oversight and control agency for the People’s Republic of China.








Correspondent: Shamilah Namuddu

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