After Imposing Social Media Tax, Uganda Asks ISPs to Block Pornographic Websites

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Uganda recently made waves after the government imposed a social media tax on the usage of services like WhatsApp and Facebook in a bid to prevent the spread of fake news. The Ugandan government is now clamping down on the consumption of pornographic content and has blacklisted certain websites and online services from being accessed in the country.

According to a report, the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) has asked telecom companies and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block access to pornographic websites, both local and international.

After Imposing Social Media Tax, Uganda Asks ISPs to Block Pornographic Websites

Godfrey Mutabazi, Executive Director at the UCC, revealed that the regulatory body has blacklisted 10 international pornography websites and 17 popular local websites, most of which advertise escort services, and has ordered the telecom companies and ISPs to block them.

“The commission is in receipt of a list of Internet sites with pornographic content from the Pornography Control Committee. The committee has established that the list of the websites attached hereto is currently streaming pornography to Uganda in breach of section 13 of the Anti-Pornography Act, 2014”, Mutabazi was quoted as saying by IAfrikan

However, the ISPs and telecom companies didn’t immediately comply with UCC’s new directive, but when the anti-pornography measure started attracting media attention, the regulatory body announced that a penalty will be imposed on those who fail to comply with the orders. A report from Quartz says that as of Monday, only a small number of companies have complied with the new regulation, while a large section continues to defy it.

But this is not the first time that Uganda has taken a stance against pornographic content, as the African nation’s government announced back in 2016 that they are in possession of a ‘pornography detection machine’, that would detect objectionable content i.e. pictures, videos or graphics taken or saved on one’s phone, computer or camera in any form. And as ludicrous as it sounds, such a machine was apparently never used or existed in the first place, and was passed off as a blank threat.

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