Privacy

by Karl Bode


Filed Under:
cybersecurity, kenya, registration, wifi



Kenya's Ingenious Solution To Cybercrime: Register Every Wi-Fi User And Device With The Government

from the criminal-masterminds dept

Good news! Kenya has developed an ingenious, foolproof plan to put an end to the menace of cybercrime as we know it: they'll soon be requiring that all Wi-Fi users register with the government before going online. Since most of us realize that hacking or tricking Wi-Fi authentication systems is impossible, and, as we all know, criminals aren't capable of stealing other peoples' Wi-Fi credentials, Kenya will be at the very forefront of landing a killing blow on internet-based crime as we know it for decades to come. It's simply amazing that someone didn't come up with this idea sooner.

The new head of Kenya's Communications Authority, Francis Wangusi, last week stated in a speech that Kenya has taken over chairmanship of Association of Regulators of Information and Communications for Eastern and Southern Africa (ARICEA), a body that fights cybercrime within member nations. A new mandate of the group will require that every single Wi-Fi device in each and every member nation be registered with KENIC for the good of internet users everywhere:
"He added that Kenyans will also be required to register their mobile devices with Kenya Network Information Centre (KENIC) in new rules aimed at fighting cyber- crime. "We will license KENIC to register device owners using their national identity cards and telephone numbers, the identity of a device will be known when it connects to Wi-fi," said Mr Wangusi at the ARICEA annual general meeting Tuesday in Nairobi. CA is also committed to conduct a detailed study on the depth of web hackings in the country. Wangusi said cyber-attacks are on the rise with the banking sector suffering most, followed by government officials."
Other reports seem to indicate the well-formed plan could just involve users having to plug in a passport or other ID number before being able to access the internet whatsoever:
"We are considering the idea of ensuring the Public Wi-Fi is not accessed without a log in. The logging in of the public domain will require one’s passport number, ID Number or telephone number," he said. "The unique number of a device is identified on the internet but we can’t identify who is owning it, if you don’t use the right identification numbers. That’s why we insist on logging in the Public Wi-Fi with personal credentials. This will help us in securing the cyber space, in case of cybercrimes,” he said."
Since MAC spoofing apparently doesn't exist in the alternate dimension I'm currently writing this story from, it should be relatively easy to get everybody voluntarily registered while constantly monitoring and thwarting any attempt to bypass the system. Similarly, since fighting the ambiguous menace known as "cybercrime" is never used as a pretense to expand government surveillance and brick-and-mortar oppression, Kenya will likely spearhead this bold new assault on internet skulduggery without any negative repercussions whatsoever for the public at large. Amazing!

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2015 @ 12:03pm

    Was that article sarcasm?

    Yes, I'm 3/26 now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2015 @ 12:45pm

      Re: SMAC MAC Address Changer

      Are MAC addresses still set up such that the first 6 characters designates the manufacturer of the NIC? Is so I can see something being deployed that if the first 6 characters don't match anybody's list that said NIC would be denied access to whatever network.

      (Similar to MAC whitelisting/blacklisting, except those use entire addresses.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        minijedimaster (profile), 6 Jul 2015 @ 1:16pm

        Re: Re: SMAC MAC Address Changer

        Yes the first 6 has and always will be the OUI which different OEM's purchase for their devices. Doesn't really matter though, when you spoof a MAC you spoof the whole thing, not just the first or last half of it. So change the OUI, change the last half, change both, don't matter.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ahow628 (profile), 6 Jul 2015 @ 12:10pm

    Where will the cyber criminals go?

    But where will the cyber criminals go? My guess: Nigeria.

    Wait, is this an old article? Did this already happen? I'm confused.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 6 Jul 2015 @ 12:10pm

    The Farce is strong with this one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    alanbleiweiss (profile), 6 Jul 2015 @ 12:11pm

    What an "ingenious" plan! Wouldn't surprise me if RIAA learns about this and then pays U.S. politicians to try the same thing here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2015 @ 12:22pm

    When unregistered internet use is criminalized, only criminals will use the internet unregistered!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    minijedimaster (profile), 6 Jul 2015 @ 1:20pm

    Control! CONTROL! YOU MUST LEARN CONTROL!

    Not really any different than your run of the mill gun control laws or DRM on software. Only affects the legit users, criminals will continue to do what they want outside of the system bypassing it entirely. When will politicians learn?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2015 @ 1:24pm

    And the really funny thing is ...

    MAC addresses aren't transmitted past the point of access. So your WiFi equipped device and the WiFi access point have access to the MAC address and anything past that just has a IP address (typically dynamically assigned). So is Kenya going to require that all WiFi access points maintain access logs? Or perhaps transmit an authentication record to some central logging server?

    Definitely sounds like politicians making laws about technology when they don't have the foggiest concept about the technology.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      minijedimaster (profile), 6 Jul 2015 @ 1:35pm

      Re: And the really funny thing is ...

      Not only that but vast majority of the time you're connecting to an AP on a LAN and are NAT'd out to the internet on the same public IP everyone else on the AP is on (just a different random port). So really PAT'd out, not NAT'd out I guess. Either way, not sure how you even accomplish this without forwarding all your internet traffic to some sort of AAA server the government runs.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        ahow628 (profile), 6 Jul 2015 @ 8:01pm

        Re: Re: And the really funny thing is ...

        You don't think the government of Nigeria can build servers to handle the forwarding of all traffic through one government checkpoint? Just look at all the email traffic they handle going to the US.

        "Dear honorable sir, I am Jobley Masterson, esq and I represent a Nigerian price..."

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          minijedimaster (profile), 7 Jul 2015 @ 6:27am

          Re: Re: Re: And the really funny thing is ...

          Not sure where I said I didn't think the government couldn't handle setting up AAA servers to authenticate people. Just said that's the only way I can think of on how to accomplish it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 6 Jul 2015 @ 2:14pm

    Well, not /all/ of them...

    You can be sure however that politicians and the higher ranked individuals from companies will not be subject to this new tracking scheme, because it would 'violate their privacy', and 'present a threat to the security of the government/company'.

    Can't track the ones that write the rules, or the ones who buy them after all. /s

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    FallenDynasty (profile), 6 Jul 2015 @ 2:33pm

    Im sure a government like Kenya that leads the way in both technology and humanitarianism will be able to pull this off without a hitch.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2015 @ 4:20pm

    Another overbearing, $*%£ 'ing government......yet again

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2015 @ 4:24pm

    so what about an ad-hoc mesh network? I mean, it isn't "the internet" (of big corporations, wires from hither to yon, satellite reception, and phone towers in the middle of nowhere).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CharlieBrown, 6 Jul 2015 @ 11:04pm

    Australia. Again.

    In Australia you need ID to buy a mobile device, including phones, SIM's and Internet dongles. Prepaid included.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James, 7 Jul 2015 @ 4:41am

    WiFi only?

    I foresee a large increase in Kenyan cyber criminals using ethernet connections for their daily business.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2015 @ 11:12am

    Coming soon to a Western "democracy" near you!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.