Harsh Online Regulations In Tanzania Causes Popular Blog To Shut Down.

Popular Tanzanian blog, Jamii Forums, has shut down following government enforcement of harsh new online content regulations.

The regulator, Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA), has disallowed publishing of online content without the necessary licences effective Monday June 11.

Bloggers have until June 15 to acquire licences, TCRA has said.

The rules require bloggers and online TV and radio to register their platforms, obtain a tax clearance certificate, and pay licence fees of up to $900.

They are also required to reveal details of their shareholders, citizenship of owners and share capital.

Digital activists and human rights watchdogs’ quest to block the implementation of the regulations fell through two weeks ago after they lost a court case challenging the government on what they termed as a crackdown on free speech.

Most bloggers in Tanzania are individuals without registered companies, making it difficult for them to meet the new regulations.

Could this be good for freedom of speech in the 21st century?