All You Need to Know About the Uganda Computer Misuse Act

The Uganda Computer Misuse Act was enacted as early as 2011 and parliament went ahead to pass an amendment to the bill last month. Last week, President Museveni signed and approved the bill bringing it into effect. This affects you somehow, whether you are a social media influencer, journalist, or any sort of netizen.

In this post, we will summarise the key aspects of this controversial bill to see why every digital nomad and political journalist, and the related party should know. You may risk going to jail for up to 10 years for recording a person’s voice or video without authorization. Others include hate speech, false information, etc. Let’s get to see the summary of the act.

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Main Objectives of the amendment

The main objective of the amendment of the bill was to enhance the provisions on unauthorized access to information or data; to prohibit the sharing of any information relating to a child without authorization from a parent or guardian.

Museveni signs into law Computer Misuse (Amendment) Bill

Other main concerns were to prohibit the sending or sharing of information that promotes hate speech; to provide for the prohibition of sending or sharing false, malicious, and unsolicited information; to restrict persons convicted of any offense under the Computer Misuse Act, 2011 from holding public office for a period of ten years; and for related matters.

This amendment resulted in drastic and exponential changes in technology over the years and there was a need to be redrafted according to the MP Central Kampala, Mr. Mohammed Nsereko. This bill still largely remains one of the most controversial bills given that there are other existing bills that handle some of the cases.


Related: NITA-U, UNCDF Collaborate to Develop a Data Protection Portal


Summary of other computer offenses

Here are all offenses summarised and listed from the bill. You will have to fully read the entire article to see the different scenarios, use cases, and punishments available.

For example, under Child Pornography, a person who commits an offense under this section is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding three hundred and sixty currency points or imprisonment not exceeding fifteen years or both.

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  • Unauthorized access
  • Access with intent to commit or facilitate the commission of a further offense
  • Unauthorized modification of computer material
  • Unapproved use or interception of computer service
  • Unauthorized obstruction of the use of computer
  • Unapproved disclosure of access code

  • Unauthorized disclosure of information
  • Electronic fraud
  • Enhanced punishment for offenses involving protected computers
  • Abetment and attempts
  • Attempt defined
  • Child pornography
  • Cyber harassment
  • Offensive communication
  • Cyberstalking

If you want to read more about the entire bill, consider reading the resources below. Please do note that One currency point is equivalent to twenty thousand shillings.

Conclusion

This bill has come into action and it means we should watch all our posts, microblogs, reels, videos, etc before we relay them to the various social media platforms. This applies to all techies, social media influencers, and digital nomads not to leave any digital footprints that will make you face jail. Do let us know what you think of this bill in the comment section below.

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