Government has no intention to restrict social media: Simaata

Stanley Simaata, Minister of Information Communications and Technology (MICT) said the government has no desire to restrict the use of internet and social media when he delivered a keynote address at the opening of the Namibia Internet Governance Forum today.

Simaata added that government has a responsibility to safeguard citizens who may be harmed by social media miscreants and use the internet to harm others.

Just because there are criminals in society it doesn't mean that an entire society can be labelled as criminals, Simaata said.

Simaata said the same principal applies to the internet.

He said if not properly midwifed (managed) the internet may become a hotbed for unverified, invalidated and inaccurate information which will harm innocent social media users.

There are people who use the internet and social media to spread unverified and inaccurate information and if we tolerate them there is a risk of government making laws to restrict its use, Simaata further said.

Simaata highlighted the need for the forum to find ways to mitigate threats to security of personal data, security of corporations and institutions as well as the security of the nation state.

Other notable speakers at the event included renowned Information and Communication Technology (ICT) stakeholders Deonerica Kuhlman, Owner and Station Manager of online community radio Kuhl FM as well as Kehad Snydewel Managing Director at Green Enterprise solutions.

Simaata warned stakeholders in the ICT industry to not undermine the security of the nation state because it is only when the nation state is secure that citizens will continue to enjoy their full rights and privileges guaranteed by the Namibian constitution.

He said the moment the security of the nation state is compromised the use of the internet will also be compromised therefore participants at the forum should continue to the ministry of ICT in order for all Namibian to be able to derive maximum utility from its use.

Source: Namibia Press Agency