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Kenya: Being Listed To Declaration for the Future of Internet “erroneous”

Kenya has protested a move by the United States to list Kenya as a signatory to Declaration for the future of internet terming it as erroneous.

Safaricom Base transceiver station, (BTS) located at Olgulului in Kajiado County.

The Kenyan government says its listing as a signatory to the Declaration for the future of internet is erroneous.

Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna says protocol was not followed in the signing of the declaration that is aimed to protect an open, safe internet.

“While we are listed as a signatory to the declaration, we wish to state that, as a country, we have not gone through our processes and laws for endorsing this declaration. As per our laws, Kenya can only be a signatory to any international instrument after Cabinet approval, and ratification by the National Assembly,” he said.

“The said declaration is going through review and based on the outcome of the process, Kenya will be able to state her position on the matter,” Oguna said.

In a statement, the US, European Union (EU) member states, and 32 non-EU countries have signed a “Declaration for the Future of the Internet” that calls for an “open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure” internet.

The declaration represents a political commitment among partners to advance a positive vision for the internet and digital technologies, the White House said in a statement on Thursday.

“It also reaffirms and recommits its partners to a single global Internet – one that is truly open and fosters competition, privacy, and respect for human rights,” it added.

The declaration said that globally, we are witnessing a trend of rising digital authoritarianism where some states act to repress freedom of expression, censor independent news sites, interfere with elections, promote disinformation, and deny their citizens other human rights.

“At the same time, millions of people still face barriers to access, and cybersecurity risks and threats undermine the trust and reliability of networks”.

The declaration aims to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people and promote a global Internet that advances the free flow of information.

In addition, it advances inclusive and affordable connectivity so that all people can benefit from the digital economy and promote trust in the global digital ecosystem, including through the protection of privacy.

“Today, for the first time, like-minded countries from all over the world are setting out a shared vision for the future of the Internet, to make sure that the values we hold true offline are also protected online, to make the Internet a safe place and trusted space for everyone, and to ensure that the Internet serves our individual freedom,” said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.

The declaration emphasises that the internet should be decentralised and globally interconnected.

“The Internet should operate as a single, decentralized network of networks – with global reach and governed through the multistakeholder approach, whereby governments and relevant authorities partner with academics, civil society, the private sector, technical community and others. Digital technologies reliant on the Internet, will yield the greatest dividends when they operate as an open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure system.”

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