Civil society urged to strengthen digital departments

By Edwin Muhumuza

Civil Society Organizations are rooting for the strengthening of cyber security in a bid to safe guard them- selves from attackers.

Executive Director, Defenders Protection Initiative, Yona Wanjala, said that non-governmental organizations around the world have been a target by state agencies accusing them of terrorism and money laundering a move they say has been as a result of cyber -attacks.

His remarks came during a digital security conference, at the Kampala Serena Hotel ,that brought together several organizations with aim of ensuring digital safety as they run their operations in the country.

NGO Forum Executive Director Richard Ssewakiryanga says work done by non-governmental organizations is too sensitive and therefore the need for digital security to safe guard it.

He adds that there has been break-ins where computers have been stolen leaving the fate of some organizations uncertain, and therefore the need for them(CSO’s) to increase budgets to prioritize Information Communication Technology.

Over the past five years there has been a wave of break-ins into the premises of non-governmental organizations, mostly those specializing in protecting human rights.

Despite the Uganda Police Force saying it has commissioned investigations into most of the incidents, the leaders of the affected organizations say there has hardly been any progress on this front, and not a single report detailing the progress of investigations has been issued.

They accuse the police and the government of being insensitive to the plight of civil society organizations at best, and at worst they say the State could be complicit in the break-ins. The police deny the accusations and say they are actively working to remedy the situation.