PUBLIC ADVISORY NOTICE ON CIRCULATION OF FAKE INFORMATION

Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is a body corporate established under Section 4 of the Uganda Communications Act 2013(Act) as the regulator in the development of a modern communications sector in Uganda. Accordingly, UCC regulates radio, television, postal services, telephony services, data communications and the airwaves used by all wireless radio devices.

Sections 5(1)(a), (b),(k), (x) and (z) of the Act mandate UCC to license, monitor, regulate and set standards for all communications services in Uganda to safeguard the public interest and protect consumers.

UCC has observed an increase in cases of misinformation and publication of fake news, videos and advice through digital platforms by individuals misusing communications platforms to publish, distribute and forward false, unverified, and/or misleading stories and reports. Such conduct can cause counsels disobedience against the law or to lawful order/guidance, incitement of violence against persons or property, cause financial turmoil in markets, unfounded public anxiety, or put a person’s life in danger by providing misleading guidance. Notably, a single personal post can go viral and lead to additional distorted content.

UCC takes exception to this criminality and wishes to advise that any persons found to be engaging in creating, initiating the transmission of, circulating, and/or forwarding, fake stories and misinformation using communication facilities, service or applications shall be apprehended and prosecuted for offending the Computer Misuse Act, 2011, the Data Protection and Privacy Act, 2019 and/or other Penal laws of Uganda.

Members of the public are called upon to be vigilant and exercise due care to ensure all information created, posted, shared or forwarded is free from distortion of facts and complies with the existing laws of Uganda by verifying the authenticity of any news stories/reports from official sources before believing, republishing, spreading and/or forwarding of such stories to other persons. 

Dated this 22nd Day of March 2020.

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