[/blockquote]Some Ugandans have woken up to zero notifications on their phones, or their desktops showing error pages when they try to access Twitter or Facebook on this election day. Most people of course are suspecting that the government has a hand in this and according to confidential sources it seems to hold some truth to it. So for those who are able to access Facebook or Twitter on the affected carriers are using VPN solutions. Clearly Ugandans are saying no to online censorship that is expected to last for 3 days The government reportedly put the telecoms on pressure to put down key sites in key locations on major telecoms. The carriers were asked to block Social Networking websites like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp until voting counting is done.
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a method used to add security and privacy to private and public networks, like WiFi Hotspots and the Internet. VPNs are most often used by corporations to protect sensitive data and also can be useful to check out information on pages blocked based on IP address. It basically fouls the webpage you are about to access and make it seem as if you are origination your request from a different country. Affected carriers include MTN, Smile and Smile Telecom.
The blocking of social media comes at a time when Uganda is conducting Presidential and parliamentary elections days after the government warned the masses to desist from making false propaganda on social media. It seems this didn’t work as expected and some carriers have played cat and mouse games with their subscribers this morning by switching social media sites on and off. Most people are advocating to share the VPN solutions like Tunnel bearer, Spotflux VPN, Pure VPN and ZPN on their mobile phones and desktops. Some mobile browsers like Opera Max, Opera Mini and Tor Browser have been confirmed to work.
Update: UCC responds
UCC has sent out an official communication that the government has shut down Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Mobile Money and they will switch them back on when the situation get back to normal.
Has your carrier blocked social media? How are you able to access social media? Please share in comments below.