Activists query free government internet, demand data protection law

Tuesday October 4 2016

The free internet access under the code name
The free internet access under the code name #MYUG is being managed by National Information and Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U). Photo by Faiswal Kasirye
The Information, ICT and Communication
The Information, ICT and Communication minister, Mr Frank Tumwebaze who announced the development at Media Centre in Kampala, said free Wi-Fi services will be between 6pm and 6 am on weekdays
By Ephraim Kasozi

KAMPALA.

Human rights activists have asked Parliament to quickly pass the Privacy and Data Protection Bill, 2015, to protect citizens’ personal information being targeted by security agencies and regulatory bodies.

Mr Wokulira Ssebaggala, the chief executive officer of Unwanted Witness-Uganda, a communication rights organization, said they are concerned about the rising targeting of citizens’ data in order to compromise their privacy.

Mr Ssebaggala was addressing journalists in Kampala on precautionary measures as citizens log into the newly launched free internet access in Kampala city.

“We believe government bears the responsibility to maintain security of the country, but it must come with transparency and accountability on protecting people’s right to privacy,” he said.

Last month, government through the ministry of Information Technology and Communication (ICT) launched free internet access for Kampala and Entebbe towns.

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The free internet access under the code name #MYUG is being managed by National Information and Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U), a body mandated to retain details of communication users for both voice and data.

But Mr Ssebaggala suggested government should modify and limit details demanded of users before connecting to MYUG internet.

He said genuine internet access should require only a password for one to connect as opposed to the rigorous process required to access MYUG.

“We feel citizens should be part of the process to secure the country; therefore, we see no reasons for providing much personal information in order to connect to MYUG free internet,” Mr Ssebaggala said.

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