TCRA launches campaign on responsible internet use

DAR ES SALAAM: THE Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has embarked on a robust public awareness campaign designed to bolster online safety and advocate for responsible internet usage.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam recently, the regulator’s Head of Communication and Public Relations, Mr Rolf Kibaja, underscored the campaign’s primary objective and outlined key focus areas, emphasising that the initiative aims to heighten public awareness about cyber threats while providing communication service to users with essential resources to mitigate online risks.

He highlighted the campaign’s commitment to educating citizens about the regulations set forth in the Cybercrime Act of 2015, emphasising the importance of compliance with the laws governing online activities. Scheduled to run for eight weeks, from February 6th to March 31st, 2024, the campaign seeks to impart comprehensive knowledge on cybersecurity, legal compliance, digital literacy, and effective communication resource utilisation.

“Our fundamental goal is to foster responsible and ethical conduct on the internet,” said Mr Kibaja.

“We aim to empower citizens with knowledge and skills to navigate social media responsibly, enabling them to make informed decisions and resist the influence of disinformation and misinformation in the online space.” The authority’s spokesperson further said TCRA also intends to include children in the campaign, recognising the vulnerability of the demographic to the misuse of communication services, particularly internet-based platforms.

“We are rolling out a Child Online Protection (COP) initiative altogether with this campaign to ensure responsible usage of online services by the younger generation, safeguarding them from various online vices like cyberbullying and child pornography,” he added.

“To disseminate this campaign message effectively, we will utilise social media, mainstream outlets, bulk SMS, TV teasers, and various other communication modalities,” he stressed.

Beyond promoting online safety, the campaign will stress the significance of using the national domain name (.tz) when registering websites. Mr Kibaja explained that registering with (.tz) helps establish a website’s Tanzanian origin, fostering user trust.

He urged stakeholders in the Information and Communication Technology sector to actively engage with the campaign by registering their websites with the .tz domain, stressing its crucial role in safeguarding online businesses in the country.

Mr Suleiman Mng’ong’o, a parenrt, lauded the regulator’s awareness initiative and urged it to collaborate with other Government entities to curb misuse of cyber platforms.

“We are grappling with challenges related to our youngsters’ effective internet usage. TCRA must collaborate with various stakeholders to bolster awareness and educational efforts for users,” stressed Mng’ong’o.

Another parent, Ms Upendo Silas echoed this call, emphasising the importance of educating children on the effective and responsible utilisation of online services. “Considering the implementation of a new curriculum, it is crucial for the relevant ministry to prioritise emphasising responsible use of digital services through ICT subjects, which I believe are taught from lower grades,” insisted Silas

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