The Kampala Central legislator, Muhammad Nsereko has secured leave of parliament to introduce the Computer Misuse (Amendment) Bill that seeks to provide stringent penalties for culprits.
The bill seeks to make it an offence to send and share data about children without the authorisation of their parents or guardians on a computer and by extension social media punishable by 7 years in jail, a fine of Shillings 15 million or both.
The bill also suggests the same fine for individuals who without authorization, access, intercept another person’s data or information, voice or record another person. The bill proposes a 10-year jail term for this offence. It also seeks to criminalise sending unsolicited messages to computer users under clause 4. Nsereko proposes a fine of Shillings 15 million or a 7-year jail term or both.
He proposes the same penalty for a person who sends or shares with another person unsolicited information through a computer. Nsereko told Parliament chaired by Deputy Speaker, Anita Among on Tuesday that the country needs a strong law on cyber-harassment and legislate hefty fines, ban culprits from holding public office and others.
He, therefore, tabled a motion seeking leave of the House to introduce the Bill, saying that technology has been grossly been abused leading to the deprivation of the right to privacy. Nsereko said that this is done through willfully generating, sending and sharing negative, false and malicious, hateful and unwarranted pictures or videos and insults on people and societies.
He said that the abuse of technology has also stretched to the vulnerable people in the community like children.
The MP argued that the abuse of technology negatively impacts children and individuals on whom it is misused.
Nsereko wants individuals convicted of offences relating to the proposed law banned from holding any public office or even losing the ones they hold for a period of 10 years.
The Kampala Central MP says that without strengthening the existing legislation to address the gaps, the technological abuse with its grave impact on health, human relations and society at large will continue to escalate the violation of the right to privacy.
“The amendment of the Computer Misuse Act, is requisite to require every person, especially a public officer or leader, to be more responsible and circumspect in creating, distributing or sharing any type of information for public consumption while at the same time enjoying their right to freedom of speech,” said Nsereko.
Besides the Computer Misuse Act, the Interception of Communication and Data Protection and Privacy Act also regulates the misuse of computers.
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