Bloggers Now Have to Pay the Government Over $900 to Operate in Tanzania
The clampdown on online content creators essentially gives the Tanzanian government free rein over the internet.
The Tanzanian government is moving forward with its plan to charge bloggers a $930 licensing fee to operate online.
The new online regulation will require bloggers and other online content creators to register with the government before being authorized for online publishing. Applicants must fill out a form which lists the expected costs of operation, stakeholders, staff qualifications and more reports Quartz Africa.
Journalist Samira Sawlani shared a copy of what appears to be part of the application form via Twitter. Applicants must note whether they are a radio show, blog, television show or another online service. The application also lists the costs of a three year license and renewal fee.
Bloggers In Tanzania will reportedly be required to fill out this form & pay the Govt $900 for a license https://t.co/Eli2RvJrrj— Samira Sawlani (@Samira Sawlani) 1523392635.0
The acquisition of a license does not shield online platforms from further government scrutiny either. They can be revoked at any point if the government determines that they are not compliant with regulations. A blog can be removed if it "causes annoyance, threatens harm or evil, encourages or incites crimes or jeopardizes national security or public health and safety," reports Quartz Africa.
The new law is being considered another attempt by President John Magufuli's to suppress free speech in the country. He has previously put restrictions on the use of social media apps such as WhatsApp.
The Tanzanian government recently passed a law that requires bloggers to pay a USD 900 annual subscription fee to u… https://t.co/zN3KvhPaHL— Ryan Cummings (@Ryan Cummings) 1523439847.0