UCC: We Have Capacity to Decrypt WhatsApp Messages, Trace Anonymous Numbers

The Executive Director of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Eng. Godfrey Mutabazi has said that the commission has technology to trace anonymous numbers and decrypt text messaging services like WhatsApp.

“There’s no single message that can’t be traced to its source. End to end encryption is useless,” he said.

Mutabazi was Monday morning addressing journalists on the status of the ongoing SIM Card registration in the country.

The move which is aimed at reducing the rate of criminality, most of which his aided by mobile phones has faced criticism from the public and some organisations who claim it’s in violation to the Regulation and Interception of Communications Act.

Besides Normal phone calls and text messages, most communication is done through social media including WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter among others which are owned by foreign entities and hence hard to track.

Government and other big shots have recently been battling to uncover Facebook blogger Tom Voltaire Okwalinga who has been at the forefront of criticizing the NRM government and spilling classified information from different government agencies.

A number of other Social Media offenders have gone untouched due to assumed inability to track social media messaging by government.

Although the efforts have been fruitless, Mutabaazi maintains that UCC has the technology and capacity to decrypt and track all messages.

Also present at the Monday briefing was Security Minister, Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde and the ICT Director of the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), Clet Turiho.

Commenting on capacity to curb cyber related crime, beyond the mass registration of simcards, Gen Tumukunde said; “A lot has been done. We have recruited competent people and we have sufficient equipment because we know the magnitude of this security threat.”

He was however hesitant on revealing the statistics relating to cybercrime incidence.



Paul Mugume

Paul Mugume is a Tech writer with a bias toward startups, telcos, and digital marketing. Connect with Paul via. Twitter: Email:
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