UCC vows to block VPNs in Uganda
Written by Lindah Nduwumwami on February 20, 2019
As the fight to curb internet crime and other forms of cyber misconduct intensifies in Uganda, former Minister for ICT George William Nyombi Thembo, now Director for the Rural Development Fund (RCDF) at the Uganda Communications Commission, has revealed that government has finally found a solution to the Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) which people have been using to beat restrictions and monitoring. The UCC Director said this during a digital rights workshop held in Entebbe yesterday.
Since the introduction of social media tax (OTT tax) last year the use of VPNs among Ugandans has increased tremendously, with people using the VPNs to access social media without paying taxes, to access restricted sites as well as to hide their identities and become untraceable when online.
Nyombi Thembo says that as UCC they have now found solutions to the VPN problem , and he points out that the move to block VPNs is not intended to cripple businesses but rather it’s for security reasons.
“Internet blockage is not akin to Uganda. Many countries have done it before and will do it. It was not the first neither will it be the last time. We will continue doing it if we have compelling reasons and this time we have a solution for VPNs. You will not be able to use them,” said Thembo.
Nyombi Thembo added that Ugandans have continuously joked around on internet not knowing it can turn out to be disastrous to the national security. He explained that government is investing a lot so as to be in a position to harmlessly control internet usage in the country.