UCC to crack down on fake phones, monitor social media

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The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has announced a crackdown on mobile phones with fake international Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI).

UCC spokesperson, Fred Otunnu, said the exercise which begins this March is intended to fight cybercrime and detect fake phones on the network.

UCC has already created a Centralised Equipment Identity Register system to automatically monitor and oversee mobile phones in both public and private sectors.

Otunnu says they will deregister such phones that have not gone through a complete process of certification on quality of material by the Global Systems for Mobile Association.

ICT minister Frank Tumwebaze says the process is not about monitoring phones but testing of equipment/devices to avoid fake, defective and dangerous communication equipment from flooding the market.

“Equipment testing and approval is a mandate of communication regulatory bodies globally,” Tumwebaze clarified.

Uganda Communications Centralised Identity Equipment Regulation 2015 has already been submitted to Tumwebaze for perusal before being tabled in Parliament.

Previous attempts to switch off fake mobile phones in 2013 were curtailed by lack of a regulation.

UCC executive director, Eng Godfrey Mutabazi will use this new regulation to target cyber bullies, stalkers, hackers, peddlers of fake news and paedophiles who use popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp.