Kenya has protested a move by the United States government to list it as signatory to an internet declaration citing lack of due processes.
Government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna said protocol had not been followed in the signing of the declaration for the future of internet. The declaration aims to protect an open and 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.
The White House listed Kenya among 55 countries that have joined in the efforts to promote free, open, interoperable, reliable and secure internet globally.
“The said declaration is going through review and based on the outcome of the process, Kenya will be able to state her position on the matter,” Oguna said.
Among the nations listed are Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany and Japan, along with others like Argentina, Cyprus, Montenegro and Slovenia and Ukraine.
The White House claimed the goal of the Declaration for the Future of the Internet (DFI) is to recover the great promise of the internet while fighting “growing digital authoritarianism” to ensure it reinforces democracy, protects privacy, and promotes a free global economy.
A senior administration official, referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said Moscow has aggressively propagated disinformation at home and abroad, controlled internet news sources, blocked or shut down genuine sites and attacked internet connectivity in Ukraine in recent months.
According to the official, the campaign seeks to address internet disintegration while “respecting regulatory authority” of each country.
The declaration also emphasizes the importance of providing affordable internet access to underserved communities.