By our reporter
Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is set to engage telecom companies to find possible ways of blocking Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) which Ugandans have been using to evade the daily shs200 social media tax.
According to UCC Executive Director, Godfrey Mutabazi telecoms will slowly, one by one block VPN applications that are aiding Ugandans to evade paying the social media tax.
Mutabazi said that telecoms promised and are already blocking VPNs. But he added that there are many VPNs, admitting that not all of them can be blocked. Mutabazi further argued that those who are going for VPNs instead of paying the social media tax are taking an unwise decision. He said VPNs consume more data than the daily Shs 200 tax.
“If you’re saying that everybody is on VPN ,there is no evidence. However the telecoms are saying they’re slowly they are cleaning up all those VPNs, they are closing some. You know there are so many of them. On a daily basis they are doing the blockage. You know you cant be 100% but they are doing it.” he said.
The social media tax took effect on July 1 at the start of the 2018/2019 financial year. The tax has triggered uproar among Ugandans – some have grudgingly paid it – while others are chest thumping for evading it to access social sites using VPNs applications.
VPN enables internet users to hide their Internet Protocol (IP) address. The IP addresses are distributed geographically and can be used to identify internet users’ location. People with VPN unblocked their social media sites without paying the tax.