Government urged to scrap OTT

Unwanted Witness, a vicil society group in partnership with Future Challenges, Digital Human Rights Lab have urged government to scrap Over The Top (OTT) tax levied on social media users.

The call was made on Friday during the launch of a report on the State of Digital Rights and Internet Governance in Uganda at Hotel Africana.

Dorothy Mukasa, from Unwanted Witness said establishment of OTT in 2018 that was imposed on internet users via social media was found to be expensive for some people to sustain the internet in Uganda.

She said: “Individuals should be able to access, use, create, publish digital media through the use of ICT means because they have the digital human rights that are legal and therefore should be protected."

Carol Atuhaire, another Unwanted Witness activist, said OTT tax is a hindrance to the growth of ICT in Uganda because the number of internet users has grown exponentially from less than 40,000 in 2000 to slightly over 10 million in 2020, with social media penetration of the urban population.

Uganda Communication Commission head of Legal, Abdul Salam Waiswa, said Facebook connectivity is limited in Uganda as the government is still holding talks with Facebook on several issues for its safe operations in Uganda.

Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) Director, Monitoring and Inspections, Ruth Ssekindi, said limitation of digital rights should be for a short time in respect to address a challenge, threat and that the limitations should be reasonable, acceptable and proportional to the challenge or threat, other than violation of digital rights.

 

 

 

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