By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Today, the Ugandan Communications Commission (UCC) has officially written to Google requesting it to block over 14 (fourteen) opposition owned Ugandan YouTube channels from their Platform mostly those hyping strongest opposition presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) political campaigns.
In a letter certainly dated 9th December 2020, directed to the CEO of Google in California, USA, UCC has demanded the immediate closure of popular Ugandan YouTube online platforms for compromising national security and causing economic sabotage and inciting violence which resulted into riots that led to the death of over 100 innocent Ugandans.
However, according to its policies, Google receives content removal requests through a variety of avenues and from all levels of government — court orders, written requests from national and local government agencies, and requests from law enforcement professionals noting that 50% of the requests they receive are for YouTube video takedowns.
In this case, UCC used a mere letter to submit its request without any court document as per the google policies to verify the illegality of the content something that may see the Commission sleeping on its papers.
Meanwhile, UCC in its letter notes that its decision was after a receipt of complaints from the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Uganda Police Force how these communication platforms were being used to disseminate harmful news and propaganda that arguably led to the loss of lives and property during the Bobi Wine arrest protests.
Among the channels that UCC wants Google to block include Ghetto TV, Map Media TVs, Busesa Media Updates, Uganda Empya, KK TV Uganda, JB Muwonge 2, Bobi Wine 2021, Olujjuliro, Lumbuye, Trending Channel Ug, Uganda Yaffe, Uganda Empya, Uganda News Update, and TMO Online among others all these known for promoting Bobi Wine.
Meanwhile, as we wait for Google’s response to UCC, we remind you that the development has come afterUCC recently asked all persons engaged in the provision of data online to regularise their operations by obtaining authorization from the Commission by 5th October this year a move that Ugandans ignored citing that the Commission is being used by the incumbent President Museveni to fail his opponents while leaving UCC struggling with various cases in court.
Among the lawyers and concerned Ugandans that sued UCC, included counsel Ivan Bwowe who argued that the directive to have all online media registered and authorized to operate is unconstitutional, asking the Civil Division of the High Court in Kampala to reverse it.