Reports from Tanzania say bloggers and other “online content creators” now have to pay $930 in licence fees per year to be approved by the government to operate as bloggers.
The government will certify all bloggers and charge them an annual fee before they are allowed to start or continue operating online, The East Africa Monitor reports.
Government reserves the right to deny or revoke the permits for any site that “causes annoyance, threatens harm or evil, encourages or incites crimes” or deemed to threaten national security.
It was learnt that $930 license fee demanded by the government will force most independent bloggers to cease operation with the gross national income per capita in Tanzania being just $900.
When the regulations were first proposed in 2017, there were criticisms that the law violated individual privacy and freedom of speech.
With the regulations in place, officials can also force administrators to remove any piece of content within 12 hours.
Publishers who do not comply could face a minimum of $2,210 in fines or a year in prison. These regulations are binding on all individuals and organisations classed as online content creators in Tanzania – including online radio stations, podcast publishers, online forums and people using social media as a content publishing platform.
Online content creators need to provide documentation that states the financial details of their organisation, any directors and stakeholders, involved; projected revenue and future plans for growth, before they could be given license.