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Beware reports ranking Kenya’s internet top in Africa

cybercafeDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Tuesday March 21, 2017

A recent report from Akamai ranked Kenya’s internet quality the best in Africa.  Indeed, it put Kenya ahead of most European countries in the broadband Internet ranking.

Other than the ICT Cabinet Secretary, who supported and explained the findings, the rest of us who live in Kenya may have viewed the findings of the report with some scepticism. But rather than dismissing the good news outright, I sought to understand the reasoning behind the ranking, by looking for the methods Akamai had used to place Kenya so highly.

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Kenya is now a target of global cybercrime - and we’re not ready

Cyber-securityDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Thursday March 16, 2017

Recent press reports indicate that Kenya’s progress in ICT has now matured, to a point where we are a target of interest for both global and local cybercriminals.

Banks, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), mobile operators and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) are included in a list of major organisations cited as being recent victims of an elaborate cybercrime syndicate.

It is, indeed, a wake-up call for organisations, both in the private and public sector, to set up, fund and operationalise their information security departments. 

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Mucheru proposes interoperability of M-Pesa to tackle dominance

mucheru-picDAILY NATION By MUTHOKI MUMO

Sunday March 12, 2017

The government is pushing for interoperability rather than splitting of Safaricom in a bid to increase competition in the telecommunications sector.

ICT Secretary Joe Mucheru says proposals that M-Pesa should be separated from Safaricom would not on its own raise competition in the sector.

Rather, the minister said, the government prefers measures such as enforced interoperability, infrastructure sharing and price adjustments to level the playing field in the telecommunications sector.

“We have many, many methods of ensuring that there is fair competition without having to split companies,” said the minister during the Nairobi Innovation Week held at the University of Nairobi.

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Police bust ring of hackers in multi-million shilling KRA, bank thefts

cybercrimeDAILY NATION By JOHN KAMAU & By STELLA CHERONO

Thursday March 9, 2017

Kenya Revenue Authority, several blue-chip banks, a parastatal and a supermarket chain are some of the institutions penetrated by an international cybercrime syndicate that took off with hundreds of millions of shillings – before they were all seized on Monday and Tuesday.

Working with insiders and relatives of “prominent politicians”, the crooks had formed an international band that installed malware into the systems that allowed them to take control of the institutions’ computers and steal what police sources said would run into hundreds of millions. (A malware is a software that disables the systems to enable hacking and transfer of money without detection).

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Government ICT policy must address gender gaps

ictwomenDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Wednesday March 08, 2017

The United Nations will mark this year's International Women's Day  on March 8, 2017. Women are marginalised in all spheres of life including, but not limited to, politics, business, education, culture and most recently, ICTs.

One way to improve the uptake of ICT by women is to provide research output that measures the ICT gender gap in order to identify challenges and provide targeted interventions.

It is within this context that the International Association of Women in Radio & Television, (IAWRT) launched the Women’s Rights Online 2016 Kenya Report at a workshop in Nairobi.

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Midiwo amendment seeks to push telcos to split business

M-PesapxDAILY NATION By MUTHOKI MUMO

Friday March 3, 2017

Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo has proposed changes to the telecoms law that if passed would see telecommunication companies face stricter regulation and apply legal pressure on authorities to split Safaricom.

Mr Midiwo on Wednesday issued a notice of intention to introduce amendments to the Kenya Information Communication Act (KICA), which will require mobile phone operators that venture beyond telecommunication services to split their businesses.

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ICT boss terms proposal to hive off M-Pesa danger to economy

mucherupxDAILY NATION By JOSEPH WANGUI

Monday February 27, 2017

The ministry Information, Communication and Technology has opposed recommendations of an international consultant firm to separate telecommunication firm Safaricom from its mobile money service M-Pesa.

Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has said the proposal by Analysys Mason is detrimental to investors and innovators.

"Safaricom is not among top 10 biggest telecoms in Africa. Splitting businesses will be a problem because at the moment Kenya wants to be the best in Africa.

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Court halts CA plans to start tapping SMS, mobile phone calls

wangusiCITBUSINESS DAILY By A Reporter

Tuesday February 21, 2017

The court has temporarily stopped government’s plan to start tapping private phone conversation and messages from today.

Justice Mativo directed that the temporary orders stopping the implementation of the directive would remain in force until the case is concluded. He also certified the application as urgent and directed that it be heard on March 6.

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Why plan to tap phones raises eyebrows

mobilephoneDAILY NATION By EDWIN OKOTH

Monday February 20, 2017

Suspicious implementation approach, the introduction of a third party and the timing that comes months before a General Election have heightened concerns over the Communication Authority’s device management system allegedly meant to fight counterfeit phones only.

The system is set to be plugged on the core network systems of all the mobile service providers in the country from Tuesday.

In 2012, the authority switched off 1.5 million counterfeit phones without using the system.

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CBK sees cyber risks as banks move to own mobile money platform

cybercrimeBUSINESS DAILY By JAMES NGUNJIRI

Tuesday February 14, 2017

Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) chairman Mohammed Nyaoga has cautioned banks to be wary of cyber risks in mobile money as the lenders move towards establishing their own transfer platform.

Mr Nyaoga said as banks embrace new technologies in provision of financial services, it is equally important that such innovations should deal adequately with the fast rising risks.

He said a number of consumer protection concerns have emerged in the sector, including the lack of safeguards for funds held by non-prudentially regulated providers.

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Govt starts investigations into theft of 46 tablets

theftpicDAILY NATION By KAREN MBUYA MURIUKI

Friday February 10, 2017

The government has launched an operation to recover digital learning devices stolen from Mosobecho Primary School in Nandi County.

The gadgets, among them 46 tablets, are suspected to have been stolen by burglars last Saturday.

The action has interrupted learning.

The Education ministry started the programme in November last year.

Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru is confident that the culprits will be caught and the devices recovered.

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TSC urges teachers to use social media responsibly

facebookDAILY NATION By FAITH NYAMAI

Thursday February 09,2017

The Teachers Service Commission has cautioned teachers against irresponsible use of social media which may portray the profession in bad light.

Speaking on Tuesday in Nairobi during the celebrations of safer internet, Mary Rotich, TSC director of Teacher Management, said the Commission’s Act compels teachers to behave responsibly both in school and even on social media.

“The Act gives us power to monitor the conduct of teachers, as the TSC we are thinking of starting to monitor what teachers exchange on social media. If you post irresponsible information on social media, such things do not show good conduct,” she said.

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Lobby calls for internet freedom, urges responsible use of social media

internetpicsDAILY NATION By LILLIAN MUTAVI

Friday February 03, 2017

A civil society that promotes effective and inclusive ICT policy in Africa has called for internet freedom in Kenya and responsible use of social media.

The Collaboration on International Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) has also condemned national and county governments for harassing bloggers, social activists and even journalists who use social media platforms to highlight issues of human rights, corruption and bad governance among other ills.

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Airtel Kenya begins 4G Internet test run next week

airtelDAILY NATION By MUGAMBI MUTEGI

Friday January 27, 2017

Telecoms operator Airtel Kenya will next week begin testing its high-speed 4G Internet spectrum in Nairobi.

Airtel, the country’s second largest telco, said the trial phase would initially cover 40 new sites in the city before being expanded to 45 others in major towns, including Mombasa and Kisumu by the end of March.

“Airtel Kenya remains committed to competing in the Kenyan market and providing choice to Kenyans by further investing in the rollout of 4G services and continued network expansion,” said Airtel chief executive Adil El Youssefi.

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Taking the digital dividends to the constituencies for prosperity

MUCHERUPIC2DAILY NATION By JOE MUCHERU

Tuesday January 24, 2017

I recently heard of the story of Abdi, a young man from Korogocho, Nairobi, who went to a network operator back in 2008 to get Internet connection for himself and his friend.

Abdi had read in the newspapers that the operator had launched a free wireless Internet connection for a youth group in Kibera, also in Nairobi.

Abdi’s timing could not have been at a worse time.

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Small businesses in need of ICT knowledge

muriithipicDAILY NATION By NDIRITU MURIITHI

Monday January 23, 2017

Kenya has taken a leap towards recognition of the importance of the informal sector by publishing the first comprehensive survey on the industry.

The ‘Micro, Small & Medium Establishments Basic Report’ compiled by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics provides vital data for policy makers, researchers and investors interested in the sustainability of small businesses that contribute a third of the GDP and employ some 15 million people.

In fact, they employ more people than the formal sector.

Technology has become embedded in business operations and, therefore, the report would not have been complete without a chapter on use, gadgets and knowledge of Information Technology (IT).

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ICT Authority, not Treasury, should oversee IFMIS

ifmisDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Tuesday January 17, 2017

IFMIS, the the software commissioned to manage national and county government public finances, has recently resurfaced in the press for all the wrong reasons.

Early last year, the public got to know about IFMIS (Integrated Financial Management System) as the system that suspects exploited to siphon billions of shillings from the National Youth Service.

More recently, the Auditor-General published a report on IFMIS that exposed many procedural and technical weakness. 

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Upper primary pupils also to benefit from laptop project

Laptops4DAILY NATION By REITZ MUREITHI

Thursday January 12, 2016

The government is set to to expand the digital learning programme to include pupils from Standard Four to Eight.

ICT Authority Director Paul Rono said the expansion will be implemented during phase two of the program.

“We are hoping to complete phase one in six months, after which the government will embark on giving the tablets to the rest of the primary school students,” Mr Rono said.

He spoke at Kipkewa Primary School in Kuresoi North during the opening of a digital literacy programme.

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On election amendment laws, here are the burning questions, answered

BVRDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Tuesday January 10, 2017

The debate on whether to use manual systems or electronic ones in the forthcoming election has generated more heat than light.

It’s a reflection of the Kenyan problem, where we like jumping into debates without taking time to understand the problem.

Perhaps it would be useful to interrogate commonly held positions through a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) format.

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ICT wishes as we approach 2017 elections

voterigDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Wednesday January 04, 2017

So we are finally in the new year. If Father Christmas was reliable and able to deliver on his promises, what are the things I would ask for?

Top of the list would of course be that in August 2017, the electoral electronic systems would work. A lot would depend on that. Correction, everything will go up or down in Kenya depending on how we navigate through the 2017 election.

I would wish that the ICT Cabinet secretary would stop talking about Al-Shabaab terrorists coming to hack our electronic systems or blow up the communication masts that would have otherwise transmitted the election results.

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