Worldcoin displays on a mobile phone

Kenyan lawmakers want Worldcoin fully shut down over ‘espionage’

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Kenyan legislators have called on the country’s Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) watchdog to shut down all Worldcoin activities nationwide, including blacklisting its IP address.

An ad-hoc parliamentary committee submitted its report recently after probing the iris-scanning digital asset project for 42 days. The report called for stringent measures to bring Worldcoin’s activities in Kenya to a halt. According to the 18-member ad-hoc committee led by MP Gabriel Tongoyo, Worldcoin continued to operate in Kenya despite court orders suspending its operations.

“The Committee found Tools for Humanity (Worldcoin) being culpable of violating Kenyan laws. Their activities constituted acts of espionage and a threat to statehood,” the report stated.

It also dismissed Worldcoin’s argument that it didn’t need to register locally to serve Kenyans. Its local partners were not registered as data processors as required by law, and they now stand accused of aiding and abetting criminal activities.

The legislators want the company fully shut down in Kenya within a week, Tongoyo stated while presenting the report to parliament.

“Within seven days of the adoption of this report, the Communications Authority to disable the virtual platforms of M/s Tools for Humanity Corp and M/s Tools for Humanity GmbH, Germany (Worldcoin), including blacklisting the IP addresses of related websites and to suspend their physical presence in Kenya,” he said.

In response, Worldcoin’s press office said it “had not seen anything official announced by the Committee directly.”

The scathing report comes despite an alleged meeting between Kenyan President William Ruto and Sam Altman of ChatGPT fame, who also co-founded the controversial digital asset project. Some lawmakers in Kenya accused the president of working on a covert plan to bring the project back to the country.

The report also attacked some officials charged with protecting Kenyans against projects like Worldcoin. This included Eliud Owalo, the Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communication and Digital Economy, whom they accused of complacency in his role. They also strongly censured the Office of the Data Protection Commission and the Communications Authority.

The report also called for digital asset regulations and the tightening of laws against the unauthorized transfer of Kenyans’ data outside the country.

Watch: Chamapesa’s Michael Kimani helps Kenyans change their views on blockchain

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