Kenya’s government has confirmed that in the interest of national security, the process of mobile telephone line registration via street vendors is to be abolished and the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) and police would assume control over SIM card registration and activation.
Fred Matiang’i, Cabinet Secretary for ICT, is quoted by The Star as saying that in the future there would be stricter management of mobile phone communications infrastructure.
“We are determined to alter SIM card registration very radically. Unless we take control of registration, we can’t manage crime and other aspects of cyber security,” he said.
Relations between authorities and mobile industry have reportedly been strained of late and have recently come to a head with an official warning to mobile operators of arrest and prosecution if found guilty of selling unregistered lines. Executive leadership of four mobile operators are said to be unhappy with with the way the situation was communicated and handled.
The Star report makes reference to a joint statement by mobile operators in which it is claimed that they “continue to maintain and update a registered subscriber base of over 30 million mobile phone users.”