The government has protested a move by the US to list Kenya as a signatory to a declaration for the future of the Internet, terming it as erroneous.
Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna said protocol was not followed in the signing of the declaration aimed to protect an open, safe internet.
“While we are listed as a signatory to the declaration, we wish to state that, as a country, we have not gone through our processes and laws for endorsing this declaration. As per our laws, Kenya can only be a signatory to any international instrument after Cabinet approval and ratification by the National Assembly,” he said.
According to the White House, Kenya is among the 55 countries listed to have joined the effort to promote an open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet for the world.
“The said declaration is going through the review, and based on the outcome of the process, Kenya will be able to state her position on the matter,” Oguna said.
Other nations include Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, and Japan, along with others like Argentina, Cyprus, Montenegro and Slovenia, and Ukraine.
Labelled the declaration for the Future of the Internet (DFI), the White House said the aim is to reclaim “the immense promise” of the Internet, pushing back against “rising digital authoritarianism” to ensure it reinforces democracy, protects the privacy, and promotes a free global economy.
Pointing to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a senior administration official said in recent months, Moscow “has aggressively promoted disinformation at home and abroad, censored internet news sources, blocked or shut down legitimate sites”, and attacked internet access in Ukraine.
While not legally binding, the declaration establishes “fundamental principles” and “commits governments to promote an open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet for the world,” another senior administration official said.
The official said that the effort aims to combat the splintering of the Internet but will “respect the regulatory autonomy” of each country.
The declaration also points to the need to ensure affordable access for underserved groups. (