Thursday, 29 August 2013

Uganda: Access Denied
Ugandan Security Minister, Muruli Mukasa

At the beginning of the year we praised Facebook for its quick action over a Ugandan homophobic hate page. It's also interesting to learn that the Ugandan Government put in an application for user identity information, and was denied.

Social Media site Facebook has revealed that the Ugandan government is among the 74 countries that requested for user account information in the first six months of 2013. 

The requests are made under the dockets of national security and criminal investigations by Governments. In a first release of the Global Government Requests Report, Facebook’s general Counsel Colin Stretch noted that the release of the report is aimed at helping the on-going global debate about proper standards for governments around the world to access user information.

It's also a clever move which should help deter governments from making arbitrary requests, because those requests will become public knowledge. A huge step towards global political transparency.

Perhaps the most worrying part of the article is this:

The report comes just months after Security Minister Muruli Mukasa revealed that government was in the final stages of setting up a social media monitoring unit to follow social media discussions and weed out people damaging the reputation of government and its officials.

What began with the Public Order Management Bill is set to escalate into full blown human rights oppression. 

You can e-mail Muruli Mukasa to let him know your concerns:

Full contact details here.

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