Registering Mobile Phones to Cut Crime, Kenya

Kenya has announced plans to register all mobile phone numbers in an attempt to diminish crime.From now on users will have to supply proof of address and identity documents before they can get a phone number, while any numbers unregistered by the end of July will be disconnected. Many individuals support this new law as they believe it will make it generally more difficult for criminals to carry out crimes; this law specifically targets kidnapping gangs that often use unidentified cell phones to carry out their deeds.

Kenyan officials believe that the new legislative move is necessary as cell phones can now be utilized as computers. Explicitly, Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere says of the risks and associated with mobile phones: "It has become a tool of banking, it can be used to steal data, [to] transmit unauthorised information and perpetrates huge frauds."

Notably, the legislation is made less controversial by an comparable program which was adopted by Tanzania in the last year. Moreover, critics of the program note that implementation of such a service in Tanzania may be more difficult as individuals may not have a fixed address to which they can register their phone.