QnA SESSION CONDUCTED AT CLOUDS MEDIA GROUP ON THE NEW ONLINE CONTENT REGULATIONS.

Published by ANWAAR M. KATAKWEBA

  • What if I post screenshots of Romantic conversations between me and someone else?

This depends on whether the other individual consented to this, as the conversations are not only your personal information, but also the other’s.  Therefore, this will be contrary to the new regulations as it would be posting contents that reveals news or photos that expose a person’s privacy/ private information as restricted under paragraph 2 of the Third schedule of the Regulations.

  • Is it an offence to post gossip online?

Gossip, if posted without consent of the relevant individual is restricted under the regulations, however true. As again this would be interfering with personal privacy, not only contrary to paragraph 2 of the Third schedule of the Regulations but also contrary to rights protected by the constitution of the URT. This emphasizes and prohibits of publishing such content regardless of whether the information is true where publishing the same may harm the person

 

  • I like the attention as it is my personal private decision. Is it an offense to post sensitive pictures of myself?

 

What really is the boundary between my Private life from so called online content violation?

First and fore most, our laws among other things, are pillared on Moral standards of our societies, and sensitive content/nudity has never been accepted in the eyes of the general public. When it comes to the cyberworld, there is no limit to the extent on who can access the posted content hence allowing posting of sensitive content however private and assured your decision may be, is going to play a great part in degrading the Moral standards of the societies and the law wont allow that. This is strictly restricted under the First Paragraph of the Third schedule of the Regulations that aims restrict sexual and indecent content.

  • Is it legal for Job interviewers to refer to my social media account and use it as a basis to hire/reject me?

As a social forum, the content uploaded is open to any viewer unless personally restricted,  nothing is wrong with an Interviewer referring to what is posted on your social forum as it is similar to how he would refer to an act that you conducted anywhere else in public. Social media is no different from our social societies, and in many cases what is observed online transcends what occurs in the social reality, hence the phrase  “social media“ If for instance an individual is observed as immoral and indecent in the public and this can be used as a criteria to reject his job application for the sake of the image of the Employer, then there is nothing wrong to making the same decision in reference to indecent pictures of the individual posted on social media.

  • What can I do if someone posts something that violates my privacy and dignity?

The Regulations provide for complaint handling procedures where, person may file a complaint to an online content service provider in relation to any matter connected with prohibited content and the licensee shall, within twelve hours, resolve the complaint. Further Where the online content provider fails to resolve the complaint within the time specified, the aggrieved person may, within thirty days from the date of filing the complaint, refer the complaint to the Regulatory Authority.

  • Is online business advertisement illegal or does it also need licensing?

The Regulations are silent on advertisement specifically, but they touch on many other aspects that may concern advertisement directly or indirectly. For instance if one advertises  products violating sexual decency, or promoting sexual content contrary to paragraph 1 of the Third schedule of the Regulations, or advertising products with marks on them that promote violence or hate such as racial quotes contrary to paragraph 3 of the Third schedule of the Regulations. Hence users are to be careful of the contents of their advertisement.

  • How do the regulation handle hackers and fraudsters?

The Regulations specifically deal with online content, Fraud and identity theft in general are criminal acts in nature and are thus governed by the Penal code generally and the Cybercrimes Act of 2015 in specific that provide against computer related fraud under its section 12.

  • Why are there no laws regulating the downloads of sexual contents?

In  most cases, the law usually makes restriction on content providers as to restrict on what they publish online, but in many cases it is very hard to restrict what one accesses online and where they access it, the cyber world is vast and can be operated from anywhere. The law might make restriction on what one can access in Tanzania but this won’t stop the user from accessing what is provided by and individual in California, hence very hard to regulate downloads in the cyber world unless we hypothetically shut down the internet.

  • How can we conclude that a certain post can cause unrest and violence?

What is considered in this case is the aftermath of the post, and in this case, we use the “Reasonable man” test to try and foresee the impacts of what is published. For instance, one posting sarcastic comments with regards to a football match between Simba and Yanga is totally different from one making sarcastic comments with regards to one’s Religion. Hence, we need the reasonability test to calculate the risk of the existence of such content online.

 

 

Access to the above discussed laws can be obtained below.

The Electronic and postal communications (online content) Regulations of 2020 https://www.tcra.go.tz/document/The%20Electronic%20and%20Postal%20Communications%20(Online%20Content)%20Regulations,%202020

The Cybercrimes Act of 2015

http://parliament.go.tz/polis/uploads/bills/1447077082-THE%20CYBERCRIMES%20ACT.pdf