Terrorism & Insurgency

Identity verification requirements increase regulatory risk for Ivorian telecoms operators and underline ongoing threat of Islamist attacks

28 September 2017


Côte d'Ivoire's telecommunications and ICT regulator, ARCTI, has announced tighter identity-verification measures for mobile-phone and internet subscribers, ostensibly to protect state security and fight terrorism and cyber-crime.

The long-running registration phase has noted almost 30 million subscribers, but now they must produce a national identity card, driving licence or biometric passport before 21 March 2018 or face subscriptions being terminated two months later. This follows the signing of a bilateral co-operation agreement with the French cyber-security agency, ANSSI, on 6 September. Separately, ARCTI announced on 26 September that, following an independent review of telecoms operators MTN, Orange and Moov for 2016, the companies had been fined a total of 4.98 billion CFA francs (USD9 million) for poor service, representing 0.5–0.95% of pre-tax turnover.

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