Kenya Interior CS Kindiki Reveals Govt firm stand on Banning TikTok

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki addressed concerns regarding TikTok’s compliance with Kenyan laws during a session with the Public Petitions Committee on Thursday, March 21. Kindiki disclosed that the government has formally communicated its dissatisfaction to TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance Limited, regarding their adherence to local regulations. He emphasized that ByteDance Limited must respond to the government’s communication, failing which administrative measures may be taken by the ministry.

Kindiki acknowledged the importance of considering stakeholders’ perspectives before contemplating a ban on TikTok in Kenya. He stressed the necessity of conducting a thorough analysis to evaluate the potential ramifications of such a drastic action. According to Kindiki, it would be premature to make a decision without a comprehensive examination of the risks and benefits involved.

In a statement, Kindiki expressed the need for an evidence-based policy to assess whether the perceived risks associated with TikTok outweigh its benefits. He clarified that the current correspondence with TikTok is part of the procedural requirements mandated by law and emphasized the importance of listening to all parties affected by any potential regulatory action.

Despite advocating for a cautious approach, Kindiki highlighted the urgent need for regulation in cyberspace to prevent irreversible harm. He raised concerns about criminals exploiting platforms like TikTok for illicit activities, endangering public safety and security. Kindiki pointed out the increasing misuse of social media platforms for spreading illegal content and propaganda, including content advocating for conflict.

During the session, Members of Parliament also brought attention to the decision of 34 US states to ban TikTok on government devices due to security apprehensions. Kindiki assured that his ministry is considering all possible measures and will conduct a comprehensive analysis before implementing any action. He underscored the significance of enhancing the country’s cybersecurity capabilities, emphasizing the need for a holistic approach to safeguard national interests in cyberspace.

In conclusion, Kindiki urged for a long-term strategy rather than quick fixes, emphasizing the importance of addressing cybersecurity challenges without resorting to a blanket ban on platforms like TikTok.