In Uganda, the government’s implementation of an increasing number of legal restrictions on citizen and activist access to and use of the Internet has created an environment of fear. Low bandwidth, slow Internet speeds, government surveillance and website blocking, and the passage of laws to restrict user anonymity and privacy online has resulted in a citizenry that is afraid to freely express and share content online. This situation has created uncertainty among activists, who often have little or no digital security training, and limited experience using the Internet as an advocacy platform. In order to increase citizen engagement and participation online, Unwanted Witness provided training to build the capacity of activists, bloggers, Netizens, writers, and Ugandan citizens to respond to and overcome online emergencies. On January 9 2014, the organisation held a workshop for online activists in Uganda, which brought together 10 activists who use the Internet as platforms of expression.
The workshop helped the activists understand online safety and security threats while utilising new digital media technologies to strengthen and guarantee the enjoyment of freedoms of thought, speech, expression and privacy online in Uganda. Unwanted Witness’s work with the Web We Want enhanced activists’ understanding of online threats and raised awareness of Internet safety and security issues and as a result of the success of these events, Unwanted Witness will continue to hold similar workshops and training sessions for online activists.