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UGANDA: Regime to block news sites, blogs unless registered with defunct UCC

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KAMPALA (@UG_EDGE) – Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), has given online news service providers to register within one month or face a disciplinary action.

Godfrey Mutabazi, the UCC Executive Director, said in a March 6, 2018 public notice, that online service providers have been given a deadline of April 2, 2018 to register.

This is in accordance with Section 5 of the Communications Act 2013, to monitor, inspect, license, supervise, control and regulate all communications services.

“The purpose of this public notice therefore, is to inform all persons currently offering or desirous of offering online data communication services, that in exercise of its powers under Section 6 (e) of the Uganda Communications Act 2013, the Commission classified online data communication services as a communication services for which one requires an authorization from the Commission,” the notice reads.

“Online data communication service providers, including online publishers, online news platforms, online radio and telephone operators are therefore advised to apply and obtain authorization from the Commission.”

It adds: “The Commission shall from the April 2, 2018, embark on the enforcement activities against all non-complaint providers of online data communication services and this may entail directing internet service providers to block access to such websites or streams.”

“Hence, under the Uganda Communications Act 2013, the provisions of any services that involve the communication to the public of any content, whether by way of audio, video, sound, still or moving pictures or a combination thereof, is a communication service that is subject to regulatory control of the Commission.”

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