Uganda’s ‘porn detector machine’ is coming soon

Uganda’s ‘porn detector machine’ is coming soon

Uganda’s pornography detecting machine is said to be coming soon. This is according to Rev Fr. Simon Lokodo, Uganda’s Minister of Ethics and Integrity. Lokodo was addressing media earlier today in Kampala as he also revealed the appointment of members to the Pornography Control Committee (PCC).

Almost exactly a year ago in 2016, the East Afrikan country’s government announced that it had placed an order for a “Uganda’s pornography-detecting machine” which was initially set to be delivered in September 2016.

What is quite interesting is that the machine is said to be able to detect both deleted and current pornographic materials stored on people’s computers in Uganda. This apparently includes detection and blocking of porn photos, videos or any graphics taken or saved on anyone’s phone, computer or camera. As with most things that relate to regulation by a government, an anti-pornography comitee (PCC) has already been setup in Uganda to “monitor and implement the law.”

Members of pornography control committee being sworn in.

The porn detector machine, for lack of a better phrase and more technical details, cost Uganda’s government $88,000 (a whopping UGX 300 million) and is reported to have been developed in South Korea. It forms part of Uganda’s Anti-Pornography Law of 2014 which that the penalty for offenders upon conviction is a fine of $3,000 (UGX 10 million) or up to 10 years in jail, or both.

It is not exactly clear what the porn detector machine actually is, i.e. whether it is a content filtering machine which all ISPs in Uganda will be expected to connect to, or whether it is some of a deep packet inspection system. Some in Uganda though have argued that it possibly forms part of a more sinister plan by the government to spy on citizens.

This post was originally published by iAfrikan. Check out their excellent coverage and follow them down here:

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