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Draft Bill in Kenya legalises e-Documents

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For the first time, electronic signatures and documents will be legally binding in Kenya according to proposals contained in the draft Information and Communication Bill 2006.

This will mean that when and if the Bill successfully goes through the parliamentary process, electronic documents will be legally recognised which could considerably reduce paperwork in e-Commerce and e-Government in the country. The Big Dish: The Internet Society is working on technicalities that could result in an African Internet Exchange Point to keep all Africa Internet traffic within the continent, thereby saving on international bandwidth costs. The Information and Communication Bill published by the government this week is elaborate on the legal and regulatory challenges presented by the Internet. Possessing equipment or reprogramming a stolen mobile phone, sending spam, tampering with electronic messages, such as emails and sms, misleading advertisements or hacking into computer systems will now be criminal offences in Kenya. Further supporting e-Government services to the citizens, an e-Kenya Gazette will be published, allowing government-to-citizen electronic dissemination of rules, regulations, notifications, etc. However the draft Bill does not give the new look regulator any powers of regulation over content on the Internet.

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