Monday, 10 June 2013

Govt sets up internet monitoring center

Govt sets up internet monitoring center 
The Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) is to partner with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to set up a Computer communications center to detect and fight terrorism and cyber-related crime.

Addressing a press conference at UCC offices in Kampala, the Permanent secretary of the ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Dr. Jimmy Samanya said UCC had already installed the equipment to detect, prevent and respond to cyber threats.

He explained that UCC’s facility will serve as a national center for the country and provide guidance and training for organizations such as banks, media houses and institutions to install the equipment to fight cyber-crime.

The Malaysian based ITU that has set up cyber-crime detection and prevention centers for many governments, institutions and organizations across the World will also provide training to Ugandan officials who will man Uganda’s center that is undergoing construction at UCC headquarters in Bogolobi.

The initiative is dedicated to enhancing the global community’s capacity to prevent, defend and respond to cyber threats.

According to the plan, the UCC officials would be trained in three phases for about year by ITU before they can start operating the center.

When the center is up and running Samanya noted that UCC will be able to identify attacks and issue early warnings to subscribers to keep the threats at bay.

He explained that the initiative was not a ploy by government to limit fundamental freedoms and human rights by monitoring the internet and social networking sites.

“The Cyber-attacks are real. While we need internet as government to do business, there are people who are using it to attack and disable systems. This era of technological advancement has come with a lot of challenges,” Samanya said.

The ICT minister, Eng. John Nasasira said in a statement that terrorist are increasingly using internet and stressed the need for UGCERT to insulate the country against such threats.

“Women and children are increasingly becoming targets of online human traffickers. We cannot allow this to continue or wait to be attacked to respond,” he said.

The UCC executive director, Eng. Godfery Mutabazi said the UGCERT is a robust system that will counter and neutralize cyber threats, adding that the initiative is part of efforts by the ICT ministry to provide a secure environment for internet users across the country.

The UGCERT project manager, Sagar Mahendram said “The people we are training at UCC will be help to provide similar services to organizations after the third phase of the training,”