According to Mwalimu Mati, Kenya is trying to limit access by government employees to the Kenyan Anti-Corruption Commission’s whistle-blower website. The site is supposed to allow users to anonymously report incidents of corruption for the commission to investigate. However, the government is apparently trying to monitor who is posting to it and prevent public sector employees from accessing the site–making it much less likely that government employees will use the site to report cases of possible corruption. Fortunately, the anti-corruption commission also has a hotline and a number of other ways to report corruption anonymously, but the government’s actions are obviously of great concern.
Another great example of the Internet’s ability to improve transparency and accountability is the Wikileaks website, where anyone can post sensitive documents that they feel should be in the public domain. Kenya has its own section on the site, and the above story also appears there. Not surprisingly, corporations are taking notice of Wikileaks and taking steps to pull down content that shows malfeasance or is just plain embarrassing. Governments may also begin to take similar steps. At least for now, though, Wikileaks has successfully fended off those attempts, including one by Julius Baer Bank and Trust to have the courts force the site’s ISP to shut down the entire domain name. In the end the case was dismissed, and you can see details on the Citizen Media Law Project’s legal threats database and analysis on their blog.