Internet service providers in Uganda have blocked pornography websites, complying with a directive from the country’s telecommunications regulator.
In July, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) executive director Godfrey Mutabazi wrote to telecoms and ISPs ordering them to “ensure that pornographic material is not uploaded or downloaded through its services.”
This follows concerns raised by the Uganda’s Pornography Control Committee that some of the sites were carrying leaked nude videos of Ugandan celebrities and others have been dealing in escort services.
According to Ugandan newspaper the Daily Monitor, the chairperson of the Committee Dr Annette Kezaabu, there has been a drop in the number of people accessing pornography after they blocked the prominent porn sites.
The banned websites have been providing pornographic material for free.
The ban in Uganda follows steps by East African Community (EAC) member states to crackdown on the access to pornographic material especially to minors.
Currently there are 27 websites that cannot be accessed on mobile phones in the region.
Neighboring Kenya is also mulling a similar ban.
Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) chairman George Magoha asked the government to shut down porn sites in a bid to arrest runaway teenage pregnancies.
Prof. Magoha has blamed the pregnancy crisis in schools on easy access to porn by young girls and boys.
Kenya’s ICT Minister Joe Mucheru said he had tasked the country’s telecom regulator with coming up with a way of blocking access to porn sites.
“In light of what’s going on, I have directed the Communications Authority, to immediately begin looking at how we can enforce or filter to ensure we protect our young people,” Mucheru said last week in response to Prof. Magoha’s concerns.
“We cannot take advantage of all the technology that is coming and still take some of the bad, so we need to find a ways of ensuring the bad things are left out,” he added.