The pre-election period which started with the shutting down of App Store and Google Play Store was the beginning of instability on the internet for many Ugandans. In recent developments, government is proposing new internet laws in Uganda to regulate the use of internet in the country according to NTV. Since the closure of the internet that lasted almost a week, government made statements citing threats to national security through the internet. One of the threats stated was mobilization of rioters through the internet to disrupt the peace in the country says State Minister for ICT Peter Ogwang.
He also explained that there are some bad people who try to cause chaos on through the internet by intentionally overturning government statements to and then spread false information.
It seems the best solution to control these threats could be why government is proposing new internet laws in Uganda that will regulate the use of the internet and keep people in check.
The internet that was restored two weeks ago after being shutdown during and after the election period caused clear damage to the economy but government said that was a risk worth taking. However, the internet was only partially restored with social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram still down. Ugandans are currently using VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) to access these platforms.
A few days ago State Minister for ICT advised Ugandans to stop worrying about when these platforms will be restored and just simply move on. In the mean time, government is working on full restoration when its sure that the perceived threats are non existent.
Effects of the internet shutdown still linger while government is proposing new internet laws in Uganda
It’s still uncertain what could be awaiting many internet users as the government is proposing new internet laws in Uganda but one thing is for sure, things might not go back to normal on Uganda’s internet. The biggest question right now is how the new laws will affect internet users since people are already struggling now after the internet was shutdown 2 weeks ago.
Some people are still trying to make up for the losses they made in the 5 days the internet was down and others remain completely cut off from the rest of the world unaware of the option of VPN or choosing not to use it at all.
Internet has become widely used by many Ugandans with most of them relying on it for information and others to carry out business. Any minor changes could cause significant damage as seen in past weeks.
As the government is proposing new internet laws, many are still requesting for access to the social media platforms since they need them to operate for their businesses to run. As the year starts for many schools and institutions, the Ministry of Education advised that e-learning studies continue in the mean time for students who are not candidates or finalists. However, some study material is accessed through social media platforms which are currently down at the moment.
We will keep you posted with any new developments on this process as government is proposing new internet laws in Uganda.