Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has signed a new law criminalizing some online activities on Thursday.
The measure tightens prohibitions under a contentious 2011 computer usage law. The Act proposes prison terms of up to ten years, for acts including violations involving the transmission of information about a person without their knowledge, as well as the sharing or intercepting of information without authorization.
What this means
According to some campaigners in Uganda, a new law regulating social media use signals further erosion of the country’s digital rights and freedoms. There are also fears that the legislation will impair both access to information and accountability and could lead to increased persecution and prosecution of citizens.
According to the new law, anyone who uses social media to publish, disseminate, or discuss anything that is illegal under the country’s laws faces up to five years in prison or a fine.
According to the new law, anyone who uses social media to publish, disseminate, or transmit anything that is illegal under the country’s laws faces up to five years in prison or a $3,900 (£3,500) fine.
It also imposes harsh penalties and prison sentences for anybody found guilty of sending malicious information, expressing hatred, or disclosing information about children without the approval of their parents or guardians.
Persons convicted under the legislation are barred from holding public office for ten years, and any leader or holder of a public position is fired.
What others are saying
Supporters of the new law argue that it will aid in the prevention of online abuse and the protection of the right to privacy.