KAMPALA – The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has been dragged to the High Court Civil Division over its March 5 directive to have all online publishers apply and obtain authorization from it.
The Unwanted Witness, a civil society organization says that if UCC is left to implement its directive, this will infringe on the freedom of online publishers and the freedom guaranteed by Article 29 of the 1995 constitution.
According to the sworn affidavit seen by PML Daily, Mr Ceasar Mukasa, the Advocacy Officer states that on March 5, 2018, UCC ordered all online publishers, news platforms and all those offering online data communications services to apply and obtain authorization from UCC with immediate effect in order to avoid the risk of enforcement.
He asserts that UCC also generated and published and required the compliance with registration forms that obligated all online media and communication service providers to identify anonymous users and furnish further details about their proprietors, administrators, location and users.
Mukasa says that UCC further directed Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to immediately suspend the provision of carriage service to any online communication service provider(online/ electronic media news provider) that is not specified by or have an authorization certificate or other express clearance from them.
They now want an order nullifying UCC’s impugned barriers to anonymity and registration and authorization requirements, conditions procedures for online communication service providers.
They also want an order permanently stopping the respondent s or any person acting on their advice, directions or instructions from blocking, stopping any online data communication service providers or otherwise interfering with their existence, application or usage.