Thursday, 31 August 2017

Uganda Government begins hunt for porn users.

With the increasing problems in the world, one wouldn't think arresting porn users will make a difference. Uganda government begs to differ; currently an act is on, persecuting porn users as crime offenders.

Rev Fr. Simon Lokodo, Uganda's Minister of Ethics and Integrity was addressing media in Kampala as he also revealed the appointment of members to the Pornography Control Committee (PCC). "I wasn't even aware there was such a position, Nigeria should learn from her neighboring countries maybe if there was an ethics minister, a lot of things would be different". Lokodo said that the government blamed sexually explicit materials for everything, from drug abuse to homosexuality "I bet America and many other continents would beg to differ". The minister said that the nation will invest roughly 500 million dollars yearly to stop one of the deadliest moral diseases in the country.
Lokodo who is well known to be a Catholic priest says pornography is the major cause of teen pregnancy, abortions,incest,homosexuality, lesbianism and many other problems in the country, one would think his former position in the church could be a trigger for this new bill. A lot of arguments are arising from this development as many will be sure to be found as offenders. Some Ugandans though have argued that it is possibly  a more sinister plan by government to spy on its citizens.

Any person accused of trafficking, publishing, broadcasting, procuring, importing, exporting, selling or abetting any form of pornography will be fined a sum not exceeding 500 currency points (one currency point = Uganda shillings 20,000) or face imprisonment “not exceeding ten years” or both a fine and imprisonment.

The scary part for lovers of liberty is how the Committee will enforce its objectives,The Eradication of Pornography It will force ISPs to use filtering software". By not using or enforcing the means or procedure recommended by the Committee to control pornography, permits to upload or download through its service, any content of a pornographic nature, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to  fine not exceeding 500(five hundred )currency points or imprisonment not exceeding five years or both.”
What is quite interesting is that the machine is said to be able to detect both deleted and current pornographic materials stored on people's computers in Uganda. This apparently includes detection and blocking of porn photos, videos or any graphics taken or saved on anyone’s phone, computer or camera. The porn detector machine, for lack of a better phrase and more technical details, cost Uganda's government $88,000 ( A whopping UGX 300 million) and is reported to have been developed in South Korea. It forms part of Uganda's Anti-Pornography Law of 2014 which the penalty for offenders upon conviction is a fine of $3,000 (UGX 10 million) or up to 10 years in jail, or both. It is not exactly clear what the porn detector machine actually is, i.e. whether it is a content filtering machine which all ISPs in Uganda will be expected to connect to or whether it is some of a deep packet inspection system.

With the impending needs of a nation, a lot of people would argue if this is really an act the government should prioritize.

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