By Spy Uganda
Kampala: The State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and National Guidance, Peter Ogwang, has cautioned the general public against accessing social media via Virtual Private Networks (VPN) noting that they will be arrested since the government blocked the platforms until all elections are done.
Two days to the January 14, polls, Uganda’s communications regulator, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) directed all internet service providers in the country to block all social media platforms until further notice.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of a meeting with the ICT Committee of Parliament where they met to consider the National Budget Framework Paper for 2021 – 2026, Ogwang said that social media blockade was in the interest of national security.
“You must also commend us, imagine if social media and the internet was there, what would have happened today? We must be realistic some people don’t want to accept that they lost the election. So done blame us, we did this in the interest of Uganda,” Ogwang said.
Ogwang further revealed that the government has now directed the UCC to start tracking all social media users who have resorted to using VPNs to access social media platforms.
”All of us as of today we are meant to be off social media. Those illegal users of VPNs, I want to warn you that we shall continue switching them off,” Ogwang said.
Ogwang, who yesterday used VPN to send out a tweet about the meeting, defended his decision claiming “he was on a survey to know who the illegal users are.”
He further noted that social media will be restored after analyzing the situation case by case, adding that the behaviour of the users will determine if they are reconnected.
On Monday, January 18, the government switched back on the internet but according to Ogwang social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter among others remained blocked.
According to Ogwang, the blocking of social media is also still in place in Uganda as a sign to show their distress to Facebook and Twitter owners who pulled down all pages and accounts of National Resistance Movement (NRM) bloggers and supporters, yet the government had asked Facebook to pull down all accounts and pages belonging to supporters of National Unity Platform (NUP) candidate Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine which was allegedly violating the communication standards in Uganda.