Yesterday I half opened my eyes at 4:30am and there was a message from a friend of mine who is Ugandan.
“Martha, did you know that the government is going to be monitoring communication on MTN and they have recalled their ESO people back into the country to help the situation? They have also set up a building with 500 IT people to monitor social media”.
Reply “you mean to say that people are so naive that they did not know this is already going on?”
Then went back to sleep.
Do you remember Assange and Snowden?
Both gentlemen exposed to the world how things are monitored. Countries like USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, etc… They all monitor.
Exactly why do you think that a country like Uganda which is going through turmoil would not monitor your communication?
Remember also that many terrorists use social media and phones to communicate their plans. Terrorism is real. So on the aspect of the Ugandan government monitoring your communication, remember that they are involved in fighting terrorism and some of you in Uganda even kill your own and attack barrackses. So what are Museveni and Kayihura supposed to do?
I live in Canada and I know all my communication is monitored (well maybe not all the time but I am aware that it is.). Then you who go on social media and call for riots and attacks, exactly what do you expect? If we can avert one attack, we could save lives.
Another way to think about monitoring (especially social media) is some idiots issue blatant threats using Facebook and Whatsapp. So imagine a Ugandan tells me “when you come home, we will lynch you”. In this case, I am glad that the government monitors my social media because who would want to lynch me but an imbecile?
Get used to electronic monitoring. The most advanced countries do it so do not expect any less from African countries. Fungua macho!
There are other advantages to electronic monitoring and below are some examples.
- Call and Contact centre monitoring of calls and communication. For quality improvement. This helps the companies to train better where something may have gone wrong with an employee. Sure, some use those customer calls to penalize employees but look on the positive side too.
- Trading firms monitor every communication and every employee is told that their communication will be recorded. You sign on the contract. I had one experience where I called to down load some mutual funds and the price was good that day. Five days later, there was nothing in my account. When I called the company I was trading with, they replayed the clip and realised that the CSR had not sent the information to the floor. I was credited for the loss.
- Banks record everything. One bank I was trading with did something similar to the above. I called to download some stocks and the order was not sent to the floor. They replayed the clip and lo and behold, I had issued the sale order 2hrs before the markets closed. They did not credit me anything because by the time I made the call, the stock had moved in my favour.
- Call and Contact centres normally announce to the caller “this call may be recorded for quality assurance”. This happens in the countries which have strict privacy policies. If you do not agree, the call is terminated. This also is for both parties.
In essence, electronic monitoring is not as bad as you think. Yes, our privacy gets invaded but imagine the opposite. Just accept that you have embraced technology, love and live by the internet. It comes with its positive and negative.
Consider the other article I wrote on Ransomware. If your company is running a good anti-virus, they can stop most viruses. If they notice this elusive one, normally because of the activity on your computer or the network, they can just isolate yours and stop it from spreading. Give people some credit. You can read that article at http://www.theinsider.ug/new-deadly-computer-virus-strikes-and-is-growing/
Information you could use.
Martha Leah Nangalama
I have an IT and business background. All my opinions are mine and mine alone.