Over the past three years, Uganda has increasingly cracked down on the freedom of the media as President Museveni tries to stay in power. While newspapers and radio serve the larger Ugandan population, they are largely owned and controlled by government officials. Access to the Internet and the World Wide Web—spurred by increased use of mobile technology— has provided young, educated Ugandans the opportunity to interact freely. As Internet access has increased, more discussions have moved online and the number of bloggers has continued to rise. In response to the rise of Web-based activity and discussion, the government has set up an online media-monitoring unit, causing many bloggers to fear possible government prosecution.
Many people in civil society don’t know how to share their information online, and those who are able to use the Web are not aware of best practices to protect their privacy and safety online. Uganda Speaks is using the Web We Want’s capacity building and outreach grant to target bloggers and activists who drive conversations among Ugandans online. Uganda Speaks is producing a report based on the results of an Internet freedom survey and interviews with the bloggers and activists who drive online conversations, and is also working with local experts to deliver trainings to bloggers and activists on how to be safe and deal with threats online.
Uganda Speaks worked with Unwanted Witness to bring together activists and bloggers to discuss net freedom and cybersecurity. Learn more by reading the Storify of the event!
It irritates to witness the diminishing of the enjoyments of human rights in Uganda. The trends we are taking as a country is to obstruct and control the enjoyments of these rights and freedoms. Offline rights and freedoms are the causality of the day including assembly, expression and association having been excessively limited and now internet freedoms are being targeted
Jeff Wokulira Ssebaggala, the Unwanted Witness Chief Executive Officer (source: The right to privacy and internet freedoms facing threats in Uganda – Unwanted Witness Report 2014)