Uganda MPs Pass Computer Misuse Amendment Bill 2022
Uganda Parliament on Thursday passed the controversial Computer Amendment Bill 2022. Earlier this year, Kampala Central Member of Parliament, Muhammad Nsereko, tabled the Computer Misuse (Amendment) Bill for the first reading.
The Bill seeks to prohibit the sharing of any information relating to a child without authorisation from a parent or guardian and the sending or sharing of information that promotes hate speech. The Bill further provides for the prohibition of sending or sharing false, malicious and unsolicited information.
“A person who, without authorization, (a) accesses or intercepts any program or another person’s data or information; (b) voice or video records another person; or (c) shares any information about or that relates to another person, commits an offence,” reads clause 2 of the Bill.
During the plenary sitting on Thursday, the House considered and passed the Computer Misuse (Amendment) Bill, 2022 with amendments.
A new clause to regulate social media “Misuse of social media” has been inserted. A person who uses social media to publish, distribute or share information, prohibited under the laws of Uganda or using a disguised or false identity, commits an offence.
Where the information under subsection (1) is published, shared, or distributed on a social media account of an organization, the person who manages the social media account of the organization shall be held personally liable for the commission of the offence.
“Once assented to by the President, the new law will among others enhance the protection of children and prohibit the sending or sharing of information that promotes hatred,” Uganda Parliament tweeted.
The Bill faces criticism from civil society activists, media and a cross-section of MPs who claim it encroaches on the freedom of the press.