By Moses Mulondo
The Computer Misuse Amendment Bill is scheduled to be tabled today, July 14, in Parliament.
According to the Order Paper issued for today’s Plenary sitting, the presentation of the Computer Misuse Amendment Bill for the first reading is the first item.
The Bill, which many press freedom defenders are opposed to, has been authored by the Kampala Central Member of Parliament, Muhammad Nsereko.
Nsereko proposes to amend section 12 of the Act to state: “A person who, without authorization, accesses or intercepts another person’s data or information or voice or video records another person, shares any information about or that relates to another person, commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding seven hundred fifty currency point or imprisonment not exceeding ten years or both.”
In the motion through which he sought to introduce the Bill, Nsereko said: “Concerned that despite the benefits of the computer-generated technology, the technology has been grossly abused leading to the deprivation of the right to privacy through wilful sending and shoring of negative, false, malicious, hateful, unwarranted pictures, insulting or even threatening information.”
Justifying his motion, Nsereko said, “Despite the existence of laws regulating the misuse of computers, the interception of communication and protection of data, the laws do not specifically address regulation of information sharing on social media platforms, information relating to underage persons and the penalties prescribed under the law are not adequate to deter the vice.”
The MP, who is a lawyer by profession, contends that the abuse of the technology and the medium through which it is used has negatively impacted on children and individuals on whom the misuse relates or is targeted through emotional and psychological torture, sometimes leading to loss of family, jobs, and respect in society.