Rumor: Uganda looking to block Facebook, Twitter

Summary:A new rumor suggests that the Ugandan government is telling ISPs in the country to block access to Facebook and Twitter.

Uganda's government wants to block access to Facebook and Twitter, but at least one local Internet Service Provider (ISP) is resisting. The rumor first surfaced on the two social networks and of course the Ugandan government has not confirmed any such plans, according to Dispatch.

Uganda Telecom is the ISP accused of having blocked access to Facebook and Twitter. MTN Uganda, the leading ISP in the country, says it has no plans to follow suit, according to two tweets on the MTN Uganda Care Twitter account (the MTN Uganda Faceboook Page doesn't mention anything):

Emmanuwamanya: @MTNUGANDACARE are you about to block #Twitter & #facebook ?

MTNUGANDACARE: @emmanuwamanya MTN is NOT blocking Facebook or Twitter!

StoneAtwine: @MTNUGANDACARE What if you get request from govt to block social media tools?

MTNUGANDACARE: @StoneAtwine Our stand is clear. We are not closing down FB or Twitter. Thanks.

The wording of the posts seems to imply that the ISP is not complying with a government's request to block access to the two social networks. Still, right now it's just a rumor.

Uganda is currently dealing with protests over a rise in the cost of living, which citizens of the east African country argue is the result of bad governance. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has been president of Uganda for over 25 years: since January 26, 1986.

The demonstrations are led by opposition leader Kizza Besigye, who lost an election two months ago that he claims was rigged. Museveni denies all such allegations and insists that drought and foreign factors are to blame for mounting food prices.

Uganda is not be the first country eager to block Facebook access in response to national uprisings planned through social networks. Most recently, previous such blocks were futile in countries like Tunisia and Egypt.

Topics: Browser, Government, Government : US, Social Enterprise, Telcos

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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