Uganda: Computer Misuse Act passed into law
On 14 October 2022, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signed into law the Computer Misuse (Amendment) Act, 2022. The Act amends the Computer Misuse Act of 2011 by imposing criminal sanctions for cyber-crimes and augmenting provisions on unauthorised access to information or data.
Additionally, the Act:
- Criminalises the sharing and writing of information through a computer that may potentially ridicule, degrade, or demean another person, group, tribe, an ethnicity, a religion or gender;
- Prohibits sharing the information of a child without the authorisation and consent of a parent or guardian;
- Prohibits the sharing of information that promotes hate speech or is false, malicious or shares unsolicited information;
- Restricts people convicted of an offence under the Act from holding public office for a period of ten years.
The Act has been criticised by civil society organisations for suppressing free speech and digital rights, as well as by the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Information Communications and Technology, who argued that the Ministry is developing a more robust and comprehensive bill to regulate online content. Critics further claim that the Act duplicates existing legislation, particularly the country’s data protection law, and risks being abused to punish criticism of the government.
The Computer Misuse (Amendment) Act can be accessed here.
Please note: The information contained in this note is for general guidance on matters of interest and does not constitute legal advice. For any enquiries, please contact us at [email protected].