The National Information Technology Authority – Uganda (NITA–U) and the Office of the Director Public Prosecutions (ODPP) have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at promoting technical support, capacity building, training, and awareness in cyber laws and enhancement of cybercrimes investigations and prosecutions.
NITA-U and ODPP have noted that the collaboration will boost the investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes, crimes relating to data protection and privacy; provision of IT services; consumer protection, and other related crimes in Uganda.
“The success of any nation depends on its capacity to effectively handle cybercriminal cases and requires specialized skills and knowledge of the technology-related laws by law enforcement. Litigation will require a fair understanding of technology and its terminologies,” Dr. Hatwib Mugasa, Executive Director at NITA–U, said in a zoom meeting.
Ms. Jane Frances Abodo, the Director of Public Prosecutions said they have created and established a Cybercrimes Unit of the ODPP as a specialized unit, in order to, as a priority solicit and build relationships with willing entities; both Government and Private, to fast track the investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes.
“I hope that this collaboration will improve the capacity and competence of prosecutors in dealing with crimes of technology; to apply and implement the provisions of the cyber laws to make Uganda a crime-free society,” Abodo, said in a zoom meeting held by NITA-U.
With the deployment of ICT infrastructures across the country, the number of electronic services, information available online, and the number of people using the internet is increasing tremendously offering great value for the socio-economic development of Uganda with many sectors relying fully or partly on ICTs and the internet.
The ICT sector has come of age and today, it is the fastest-growing sector largely driven by the telecommunication sub-sector —growing at 20% per annum. Whereas this adoption of ICT is intended for good, there are malicious actors keen on using the same (ICT) for unlawful purposes through cybercriminal activities using the internet. This has therefore led to the emergence of new crimes including but not limited to Money Laundering, Cyberbullying, Cyber-harassment, Criminal Copyright Infringements, Blackmails, to mention a few.
In order to create safe and resilient cyberspace and enable citizens to safely benefit from all the opportunities that exist online, it is important to put in place effective and efficient mechanisms for the fight against cyber offenses or cybercrime. Thus, NITA-U and ODPP coming together to fight such crimes, as well as force laws on cybercrime. In addition, train the public to be vigilant of such crimes.
Notably, In line with the cybercrimes, the Parliament of Uganda enacted three laws; the Electronic Transactions Act, 2011; the Electronic Signatures Act, 2011; and the Computer Misuse Act, 2011 collectively known as the “Cyber Laws”, relating to the use of electronic communication in Uganda. These laws are the backbone of the legal framework for the ICT sector in Uganda and provide for and regulate the use of electronic communications in business and in the delivery of services to the public.