Kampala, January 9th, 2018; Unwanted Witness Uganda has confirmed that the country’s telecommunication regulator, UCC has set up an automatic mobile phone monitoring system for both public and private sector without a guiding law.
UCC has already created a Centralized Equipment Identity Register system, the regulations meant to guide the system’s establishment and functionality have just been submitted to the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) minister for perusal before tabling them to parliament for approval, as further confirmed by the daily monitor newspaper.
The draft Uganda Communications Centralised Identity Equipment Regulations, 2015 spell out far reaching measures to switch off counterfeit mobile phones and fight cybercrime by subscribers who abuse Internet freedom.
UCC Executive Director Godfrey Mutabazi confirmed the development saying the system will target peddlers of “fake news”, hackers and cyber bullies among others who use popular social media sites such as WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
It is however not the first time that the Uganda telecom regulator has unlawfully curtailed Free speech on the Internet and arbitrary closed down media houses. In 2016 UCC directed Internet service providers to block the Internet twice without guidelines and last year forced all mobile phone subscribers to validate their National Identification Numbers with their mobile phones with no data protection law in place.