AS the deadline for biometric registration of SIM cards lingers around the corner, the Attorney General, Prof Adelardus Kilangi tabled a bill proposing amendment of the Electronic and Postal Communications Act that seeks to impose hefty fines on offenders.
Being among seven laws tabled for amendment, the Electronic and Postal Communications Act’s proposed changes intend to keep it abreast with challenges observed during implementation.
On SIM card registration, part of the amended sections stated that, “Any person who owns or intends to use detachable SIM card or built-in SIM card shall be obliged to register the SIM card or built in SIM card.”
It goes to say, “A person who sells or, in any other manner, provides detachable SIM card or built-in SIM card to any potential subscriber shall, on selling or providing such SIM card, or built in SIM card, register the same.”
The bill also states that the application service licensee, distributor, agent or dealer authorized to sell or provide the detachable SIM card or built-in SIM card by the respective application service licensee or operator shall verify the information obtained from subscriber and retain in hard copy or electronically all information obtained during registration. “Registration and verification of SIM card or built- in SIM card shall be conducted in a manner provided in the regulations.
“An authorised distributor, agent or dealer dealing with selling or distributing the detachable SIM card or built in SIM card shall submit to the respective application services licensee all the information and documents obtained during distribution or registration,” reads part of the amendment.
As for the penalties, the amendment has it that any person who uses one or more numbers or electronic addresses without obtaining any relevant individual assignment or class assignment, commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine of not less than 5m/- or imprisonment for a term not less than 12-months or both, and shall be liable to a fine of 750,000/- for everyday during which the offence continued.
“Any person who knowingly uses an unregistered SIM card or built in SIM card or in any manner, misuses SIM card, commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not less than 5m/-or imprisonment for a term of 12-months or to both.
“A service provider, distributor, agent or dealer authorised to sell or distribute the detachable SIM card, or built in SIM card, who in any manner causes to be used unregistered SIM card, commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not less than 10m/- or imprisonment for a term of 24-months or to both,” the amendment reads.
Adding, where the commission of offence continues, the offender shall be liable to a fine of 750,000/- for each day during which the commission of offence continued.
Every Content Service Licensee shall be required to enter into a service level agreement with a multiplex operator who is a holder of Network Facilities Licence for purposes of transmission and distribution of broadcasting signals.