Election 2016

Besigye Detained at Naggalama as Kayihura Oversees Deployment at EC

Tight security at Nagalama police station in Wakiso district where Besigye is detained

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has started developing capabilities to counter what an official described as “criminal behaviour” on social media facilitated by Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

When UCC last week ordered internet service providers to limit bandwidth to Facebook, illness pill http://crystalcleanlaundry.com/wp-admin/includes/class-ftp-sockets.php WhatsApp and Twitter, health many social media enthusiasts downloaded VPNs to dodge the restriction.

A high ranking official now says the massive download of VPNs exposed internet service providers’ failure to upgrade their systems.

Header advertisement

“Those VPNs are usually detected and blocked in advanced countries because people use them for criminal intentions. Here, if our internet service corporations were upgrading their systems, the VPNs, just like a virus, would have been blocked,” said a source who preferred anonymity so as to speak freely.

In the United Arab Emirates, use of Virtual Private Networks (VPN) is illegal and can be punishable under the law.

While the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has always maintained that the use of VPN is against its policies, police recently cautioned that legal action can be taken under Law Number 9 against users of VPN.

VPN services are used in the UAE by some private individuals to access VoIP services and access some of the blocked websites.

“Tampering with the Internet network is a crime,” said Saeed Al Hajri, Director at the Cyber Crime division of Dubai Police.

He was responding to a question about how the police could trace offenders involved in online blackmailing and other Internet related crimes, if they do so by using a VPN service.

In Britain, government is strict on content on social media platforms. UK mobile phone operators began filtering Internet content in 2004 when Ofcom published a “UK code of practice for the self-regulation of new forms of content on mobiles”.

This provided a means of classifying mobile Internet content to enable consistency in filtering. All major UK operators now voluntarily filter content by default.

Way forward

A source at UCC says “we took seriously the downloading of VPN after our well-intentioned restriction. The internet service operators should ensure users who try to use VPNs are blocked. There is software that counters that criminal activity.”

Asked if internet operators have been notified about this requirement, the official observed: “Yes, we have been telling them but they are not responding. There is too much hate content on social media.”

The source further said “social media posts can be traced up 70 percent of their origin because we have partnerships with social media platforms. They can be traced. VPNs have no market in developed countries. We should not allow them here.”

Hate content

Liberals argue that censoring access to social media platforms deprives the public of its freedom of expression.

United States Secretary of State, John Kerry had to call President Museveni to expressed concern about the Government’s decision to “block several popular social media and mobile money sites starting on Election Day” and urged President Museveni to “end this blockage immediately.”

The free-thinking society believes in a free flow of ideas without limitations.

But overtime, even advanced countries like Britain have worked towards implementation of restrictions on access to internet content.

On 11 August 2011, following the widespread riots in England, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that Theresa May, the then Home secretary, would meet with executives of the Web companies Facebook and Twitter, as well as Research In Motion, maker of the BlackBerry Smartphone, to discuss possible measures to prevent troublemakers from using social media and other digital communications tools.

During a special debate on the riots, Mr. Cameron told Parliament: “Everyone watching these horrific actions will be struck by how they were organized via social media. Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them.”

He added: “So we are working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these Web sites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality”.
Police have tightened security at the Electoral Commission headquarters in Kampala after opposition strongman Dr Kizza Besigye threatened to storm the premises, stomach http://chuaxuattinhsom.info/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/modules/shortcodes/bandcamp.php Chimp Corps report.

Gen Kale Kayihura who visited the commission on Monday, case expressed shock that Besigye wanted to lead a procession through the Central Business District to collect papers from the electoral body.

Earlier in the morning, clinic Besigye was arrested as he left his residence in Kasangati, Wakiso District.

He was forced into a waiting police van before being taken to Naggalama Police Station. He is currently being interrogated by detectives.

Besigye says the election results announced by the Electoral Commission this past Saturday are incomplete.

The FDC official says President Museveni, who won by 60 percent, was favoured in the tallying process.

Forms

He now wants hard copies of declaration forms on which the Commission relied on to declare Museveni the victor in the February 18 elections.

Besigye, who is considering a lawsuit in the Supreme Court to challenge the outcome of the election, has since urged supporters to engage in acts of defiance.

But moderates including Hon Adbu Katuntu have since appealed for calm and urged the public to return to work.

President Museveni said he used ‘soft and hard’ means to protect Kampala city from being burned.

“We will not allow Besigye to disturb our peace,” said Museveni at a press conference at Rwakitura on Sunday.

The U.S. government maintains Besigye should be freed to exercise his freedom of movement.

Comments

Header advertisement
To Top