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Activists cry foul as police set up cyber crime unit

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By ANDREW BAGALA

Posted  Wednesday, March 19  2014 at  02:00
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Kampala.
Police are setting up a cybercrime unit to crackdown on abusers of the internet despite claims by human rights activists that the move is intended to limit the freedom of expression.

Police are working with foreign cybercrime experts to train Ugandan police officers and set up equipment that will monitor suspected cybercriminals.
The Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, confirmed the establishment of the unit but he didn’t divulge more details.
“We are soon building a cybercrime unit with the help of our friends. We are happy we are moving on well,” Gen Kayihura said.

It isn’t clear how much the force is going to spend the establishment of the unit.
Gen Kayihura attributed the need of such unit to increase in cybercrimes.

At least 62 cybercrime cases were investigated in 2012 in which victims lost more than Shs1.5 billion through hacking of victims mails, according to the police crime and traffic safety report of 2012.

But Mr Wokulira Ssebaggala, the chief executive officer of Unwanted Witness, an organisation that fights for internet rights, said the government is stretching its arm to illegally infringe on people’s privacy and also harass government opponents.

abagala@ug.nationmedia.com