MPs face Facebook crackdown

Following a previous memo threatening that Facebook­ and YouTube would be blocked, MPs were yesterday­ again castigated for their abuse of parliament's­ internet bandwidth.

12 September 2018 | Government

MPs and parliamentary staff have been rapped over the knuckles for abusing bandwidth to surf Facebook and watch YouTube videos.

They also stand accused of using their official email as socialising and chit-chat platform.

Director of library and computer services, John Shimaneni, fired off an internal memo yesterday to all users of parliament's internet domain to alert them to the abuse.

“Currently we don't know exactly who is using it. We will monitor to see who the culprits are,” said Shimaneni.

In his memo, sent out to all parliament staff, managers, and MPs, Shimaneni cautioned there is too much surfing traffic to YouTube and Facebook, and that parliament is exceeding its internet capabilities.

He added it may be costly to upgrade to a faster internet line.

Shimaneni said a report on the internet activity will be handed to the relevant accounting officers, who will use their discretion to block certain sites on user computers.

“The volumes of email use is also a burden to our server storage; we are currently operating under 5% on certain drives and have to continually do some cleaning up.

“We discourage the following when it comes to the use of email: subscribing to links that the user do not use; socialising on official emails, for example, using it as a chat platform for unofficial business; replying to all when making simple comment; mass mailing of unofficial content, such as invitations to entertainment events, advertising of one's own or a friend's products, etc.,” he said.

On Monday the internet services at the parliament were down and as a result, staff and MPs could not access their emails for some time.

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) chief whip, Jennifer van der Heever, said the culprits must be reported. She is, however, concerned about the announcement that emails will be monitored.

“Which legislation allows them to monitor our emails? That really concerns me a bit. There was a previous memo to caution us that they will block Facebook and YouTube. Was this not done?” she asked.





United People's Movement (UPM) MP Jan van Wyk said he feels compromised and said the party's digital information is no longer safe on the parliament premises.

“They know exactly who the culprits are but now they want to use it to cut down on our freedoms. They even blocked my Gmail account and they go into our personal accounts just as they please. How can that be safe for an opposition party?” he asked.

National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) MP Meundjuu Jahanika said he is struggling to send and receive emails.

“I have tried to Google and research the land issue for the upcoming conference, but the information was not accessible,” he said.

Swanu parliamentarian Usutuaije Maamberua said the internet is very slow, but added he is not aware that the internet can be abused.

The Social Media Use Policy and Implementation Plan for 2016/17 to 2019/20 was tabled in parliament by then information Tjekero Tweya in June last year.

The policy provides guidelines on conduct when government officials use social media networks for official purposes, with the aim of improving transparency and interaction with the public.

The code of conduct also covers the use of social media for personal purposes.

Tweya said at the time that government is required to deploy available resources and ensure that citizens have access to relevant information to make meaningful and informed decisions for the improvement of their livelihoods.

He said social media is one of the tools that government intends to use in the dissemination of information and improvement of service delivery.

The policy, Tweya said, was vital in the process of creating a transparent, effective and efficient government, in line with the national development plans, Vision 2030 and the Harambee Prosperity Plan.

At the time critics said the policy seeks to caution public officials on their use of social media, and that it is a clear indication that how public servants conduct themselves online will be far more closely scrutinised, going forward.

This was viewed as a double-edged sword.















JEMIMA BEUKES

Similar News

 

Kahimise, City showdown today

15 hours ago | Government

The Windhoek High Court is today set to hear arguments from twice-suspended Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise, who is battling to be reinstated. Kahimise, who was...

Civil society critical - Katjavivi

15 hours ago | Government

Namibia continues to seek policy and legislation to strengthen the work of civil society, while creating concise pathways for it to engage with parliament.This is...

/Goagoses vows to clean up

1 day - 19 November 2018 | Government

JEMIMA BEUKES Nathalia /Goagoses recently lifted the veil on the financial and operational chaos that has plagued the Rehoboth town...

We're not captured - Tweya

4 days ago - 16 November 2018 | Government

Trade minister Tjekero Tweya says people should not believe talk that Namibia has been “captured” by Chinese interests. He added there was also nothing...

Tweya bows to rent control pressure

5 days ago - 15 November 2018 | Government

Trade minister Tjekero Tweya has succumbed to pressure from the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement by finally announcing the appointment of rent control boards in four...

Kahimise docket grows

6 days ago - 14 November 2018 | Government

In addition to allegations of misconduct related to a study loan, a volley of other claims of irregularity were thrown at suspended City of Windhoek...

Uushona new presidency PS

1 week ago - 12 November 2018 | Government

The presidency has announced the appointment of former Otjozondjupa regional governor Grace Uushona as the new permanent secretary at State House. Uushona, who will return...

Kahimise out again

1 week ago - 07 November 2018 | Government

The tumult at the City of Windhoek continues, with CEO Robert Kahimise suspended for a second time in less than a month on Monday night,...

Namdia board fees reined in

2 weeks ago - 06 November 2018 | Government

Namibia Desert Diamonds (Namdia) has been instructed to halt the payment of exorbitant board fees, following reports that board members were paid N$8 million from...

Rundu water restored

2 weeks ago - 05 November 2018 | Government

Action will soon be taken against Rundu town council officials and residents who are responsible for illegal water connections that are rife at the riverside...

Latest News

Everyone is struggling

15 hours ago | Social Issues

Poverty eradication minister Zephania Kameeta has slammed those who criticise the government's food bank initiative, saying even those critics with so-called good salaries are finding...

Kahimise, City showdown today

15 hours ago | Government

The Windhoek High Court is today set to hear arguments from twice-suspended Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise, who is battling to be reinstated. Kahimise, who was...

China: ‘No developing country will...

15 hours ago | Economics

BEIJING - China's foreign ministry said on Sunday that no developing country would fall into a debt trap simply because of its cooperation with Beijing.Chinese...

Bitcoin sinks to new 13-month...

15 hours ago | Business

Bitcoin slumped to a new 13-month low on Monday, with the biggest cryptocurrency touching US$5 173.23 on the Bitstamp platform. Bitcoin was last down 5.2%...

A toast to success

15 hours ago | People

Tunohole Mungoba After completing her entrepreneurship and new venture management studies at the University of Namibia (Unam), 24-year-old Anna Shuuya started pondering different business ideas.I...

Huge wage bill unsustainable

15 hours ago | Columns

Bank of Namibia governor Iipumbu Shiimi has become the latest official to speak out against the rampant state wage bill, which currently stands at almost...

Date nights with yourself

15 hours ago | Opinion

Elizabeth JosephI know it sounds crazy; like who in their right mind would sit in a restaurant, order a three-course meal and eat it all...

Good Business

15 hours ago | Banking

The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) held its annual Good Business Awards and Innovation Award ceremony in Windhoek on Thursday evening. The black-tie event saw...

Shack fires bring death, misery

15 hours ago | Accidents

Katrina Immanuel (9) and her brother Thomas (8) were burned beyond recognition after their shack caught fire during the early hours of Sunday morning at...

Load More