Kenya Film and Classification Board puts its foot down on streaming pornographic digital content.

17 . Apr . 2017
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Last year KFCB’s chief executive officer, Ezekiel Mutua, felt antagonised about Pwani Oil and other companies on December 15, and issued notice wherein they were given 14 days to comply with regulations meant to protect underage audiences. KFCB was keen on analysing what cooking oil had to do with sex? Pwani Oil’s Fresh Fry video advert on YouTube video clip was alleged to be pornographic in nature; promoting and glamorising sex.

In February 2016, the board banned the remix to the song Same Love by Kenyan Band Art Attack which supposedly did not “adhere to the morals of the country”.

In April, Coca Cola found themselves an opposition in Mr Mutua who objected the advertisement which had “offensive kissing scenes.”

Soon after even Netflix was looked at with censure as KFCB thought the content it was streaming was a threat to Kenya’s National Security radicalising the younger generation especially below 13 years of age.

Mr Mutua said, “We need regulation because even if this content has been rated in the US, it still needs to get a Kenyan rating because what is considered nudity in the US might not be nudity in Kenya”. He firmly believed that due to weak laws, foreigners have been taking advantage to infiltrate content into Kenya.

Last week after The Standard exposed a pornography syndicate operating from a six-bedroom house in Nairobi’s Savannah estate, reporters revealed a live webcam broadcasting sessions of two sets of women having sex to an online audience of local and international viewers.

This has inflamed the KFCB again spearheaded by Ezekiel Mutua who has asked for amendments to the Films and Stage Plays Act by vesting the regulator with more powers, including to arrest and prosecute. “The idea is to give KFCB prosecutorial powers to enforce the law because at the moment, our officers lack the powers and it is only KFCB that is mandated to rate and classify content,” he said.

“To effectively crack down on child porn industry and it’s perpetrators KFCB needs prosecutorial powers and a special police unit that can detect, investigate and prosecute child porn cases,” Mr Mutua said. This vice must be confronted with vigour in the same way we are dealing with drug trafficking and terrorism!”

On how the board would go about achieving the censorship Mr Mutua said, “We are currently working with the police and the Customs authority to stop the entry of these films at the border and we will continue to fight their entry into the country, a lot of which come from China”.

Everyone however doesn’t share his sentiments on fighting cyber crime “We have too many agencies who are all doing the same thing and an additional unit that is exclusive to KFCB will mean additional costs to tax payers but will do little to fight issues like child pornography and hacking,” said Michael Theuri, an ICT policy analyst based in Nairobi.

KFBC mentioned, “We are in the process of procuring services of a firm that will carry out a survey to establish the levels of this vice especially at the coast where it is rampant”.

The chief executive officer also added that “Of the 26 cases of child pornography that we have reported in the past three years, none of them has been conclusively dealt with, as the culprits are going about their businesses as usual.”