Yaounde (AFP) March 15, 2011
Cameroon's government has asked a cell phone service provider to suspend its mobile Twitter service for "security reasons," an activist at a media watchdog said Tuesday.
MTN Cameroon, one of the country's three cell service providers, shut down access to the micro-blogging site after receiving a request from the government, the Committee to Protect Journalists' Mohamed Keita wrote on the organisation's web site, citing a Tweet by an MTN marketing manager.
"For security reasons, the government of Cameroon requests the suspension of the Twitter SMS integration on the network," the marketing manager, Bouba Kaele, reportedly wrote in the Tweet, which was later deleted.
A subscriber to MTN Cameroon's mobile Twitter service told AFP the company had sent clients a message announcing the suspension, citing "reasons beyond (its) control."
The shut-down comes as President Paul Biya, in power since 1982, confronts calls for an uprising against him circulated via Internet and text messages over the past several weeks.
Government spokesman Issa Tchiroma, who is also the communication minister, told AFP he did not have "perfect knowledge of the situation" surrounding MTN's Twitter suspension.
But, he added, "I remind you of one thing: it is the government's responsibility to protect the nation."
South Africa-based MTN launched its mobile Twitter service in Cameroon in November. Some 50 subscribers used the service, according to local blogs and web sites. Twitter is still accessible in Cameroon via Internet.
The government has grown increasingly wary of the role Twitter and other social networks could play in sparking an Egypt- or Tunisia-style uprising, said the director of a local non-government organisation, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"The Cameroonian government dreads more and more the use of social networks to issue calls for resistance" against Biya's regime, she told AFP, adding that authorities have already issued warnings to MTN Cameroon and Orange-Cameroon, another provider.
Tchiroma said the communication and post and telecommunications ministries had called telecom companies to a meeting last week for a "dialogue with communicators," and planned to hold similar meetings with the country's bloggers, web site editors and TV and radio broadcasters.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food
Dakar (AFP) March 9, 2011
Over 500 Senegalese have fled to Gambia since January to escape fighting between the army and separatist rebels in the restive southern Casamance region, the UN refugee agency said Wednesday. "More than 500 Senegalese refugees have arrived in Gambia since January 2011," UNHCR spokesman in Dakar Francis Kpatinde told AFP, adding this brought to 8,000 the number of Senegalese refugees in the t ... read more
Japan disaster in numbers|
Outside View: Disaster's consequences
Japan's nuclear power crisis escalates
Japan disaster survivors search for the missing
Hong Kong extends 'black' travel alert for Japan
US West Coast: on frontline from nuclear cloud?
Apple delays iPad 2 release in Japan
Online sites top newspapers for Americans: report
'Pancake' stingrays found in Amazon
Sinohydro inks $2 bn deal to build Iran dam: report
Shallow-Water Shrimp Tolerates Deep-Sea Conditions
Weed-Eating Fish Key To Reef Survival
Arctic-Wide Measurements Verify Rapid Ozone Depletion In Recent Days
Wheels Up for Extensive Survey of Arctic Ice
Pace of polar ice melt 'accelerating rapidly': study
Soot Packs A Punch On Tibetan Plateau's Climate
Untapped Crop Data From Africa Predicts Corn Peril If Temperatures Rise
Knee-high fence to halt rampaging Australian toads
Seedlings Thrive With Distant Relatives, Seeds With Close Family
Seedless Cherimoya, The Next Banana
US host Beck blasted for Japan quake comments
Tsunami survivor recounts nursing home 'nightmare'
'We need world's help': Japan evacuee town mayor
Strong quake sways buildings in Tokyo
Cameroon suspends Twitter for 'security reasons'
Over 500 flee restive Casamance flee to Gambia: UN
First protests in Guinea since Conde takes power
China lends Angola $15 bn but creates few jobs
Age Affects All Primates
Brain Has 3 Layers Of Working Memory
Abortions give rise to Asia's 'lost boy' generation
Missing DNA Helps Make Us Human
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|