Mobile users have until October 30 to sign up for a VPN or go to jail in Tanzania.

The Tanzania Communications Authority, TCRA has given a deadline of October 30 for all mobile phone users to register for a private internet service, VPN, otherwise they will go to jail for a period of not less than one year.

A virtual private network, or VPN, is an encrypted connection over the Internet from device to network. An encrypted connection helps ensure that sensitive data is transmitted securely.

According to the information that the authorities uploaded through their official X page, previously known as Twitter, they issued a statement to all phone users to make sure they have registered to the service to keep their sensitive data safe in this digital world where data hacking is very easy.

”TCRA inautaarifu umma kwa ujumla, watu binafsi na makampuni ambayo kwa asili ya majukumu na kazi zao, matumizi ya mtandao binafsi, VPN hayazuiliki, kutoa taarifa kwa TCRA juu ya VPN wanazotumia na taarifa zote muhimu ikiwemo anuwani ya itifaki ya mtandao (IP address) kabla au mnano Oktoba 30,”part of the document read.

The authority said it will continue to taking regulatory measures against illegal private VPN networks, including access to VPNs that have not been reported or registered.

The authority continued to remind people that not registering for the service will make people continue to provide or distribute technologies or programs that have not been monitored and it is a criminal offense that is punishable by a sentence of not less than 12 months in prison or a fine of 5 million Tanzanian shillings equivalent to 298,333.35 Kenyan Shillings.

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