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Friday, 31 May 2013

Big Brother Uganda Chapter: Gov’t plans to monitor social media

Minister Muruli Mukasa says government will try to check security threats coming through social media. Right is UCC executive director Godfrey Mutabazi. PHOTO/Francis Emorut

Gov’t plans to monitor social media

Publish Date: May 31, 2013

By Francis Emorut

KAMPALA - The minister of security, Muruli Mukasa has said Government is setting up a centre to monitor social media content deemed to be of a security threat to the country.

“We are opening a centre to monitor social media who are bent to cause a security threat to the nation,” he said

He pointed out that Government looks to apply for a court order to enable it check email accounts of those who want to threaten the security of the county.

“We shall apply for a court order in order to check those who are using social media to propagate threats to the security of the country.”

Mukasa made it very clear that Government will not close any media houses’ websites or other websites.

He was responding to a question raised during a media briefing on whether Government would shut down social media sites especially Twitter and Facebook.

“We shall not close them but will monitor their activities through our centre,” he said.

The centre will be managed by Government security operatives and IT experts.

The minister was at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala on Thursday, briefing the media on the updates of Simcard registration deadline which is today, May 31, having been pushed from March 31.

According to him, 15 (91%) out of 16 million mobile telephone subscribers have so far registered.

The minister gave telecommunications service providers 90 days to validate the data.

He said there will be no more extension of Simcard registration and advised those who have not done that yet to take advantage of the validation period to register.

The executive director of Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), Godfrey Mutabazi backed the minister on monitoring social media content, saying the commission can trace security threat messages through social media.

“We can have access to trace it [security threats] but we shall not ban the social media,” Mutabazi said.

The media briefing was attended by the top brass of telecommunication service providers.