You Risk 10-Year Jail Sentence for Recording Phone Conversations without Consent-UCC Warns

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Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has asked the prosecutors in the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to always use lawful means to obtain evidence.

According to Dr. Abdul Salaam Waiswa the Head Legal Affairs and Compliance at UCC, anyone including prosecutors can be a victim of cybercrime but it is illegal to intercept conversations without permission even if it’s for evidence use in the courts of law.

Waiswa said that when evidence is obtained illegally, it can always be admitted first then courts of law will always deal with issues of legality afterwards. He added that the regulation of interception of Communications Act of 2010, doesn’t allow interception to take forever but just for a limited period of time.

Richard Birivumbuka, head of Cyber Crimes Unit in the Office of the DPP. PHOTO URN

Waiswa sounded the caution on Tuesday while officiating at the three day Annual Prosecutors Symposium which started in Kampala on Monday; held under the theme “Strengthening Capacity for Prosecution to Counter Organized and Emerging Crimes”.

He said that some people have installed software on their devices that automatically records every call that comes in, adding that, it’s through that process when you hear people sharing other people’s conversations.

According to Waiswa, unfortunately, under the Computer Misuse Amendment Act of 2022 that is also illegal. He appealed to people who have that kind of software on their phones or devices before they record, to first inform the person that the call is being recorded so as to obtain consent.

He said if the investigations are done, and it’s confirmed that you recorded it, you can be prosecuted under the Computer Misuse Act and the sentence is 10 years in prison.

The head of Cyber Crimes Unit in the Office of the DPP Richard Birivumbuka appealed to prosecutors to be cautious while transacting any businesses online, saying that cyber-crimes have been recurrent and anyone can be targeted.

He said that whereas Police reported that there was some kind of reduction in cybercrime in 2023, as compared to 2022, some cybercrime cases go without being reported for several reasons, as is mostly the case for banks and financial institutions.

Birivumbuka however said that the banking institutions fear telling the truth so as not to lose customers to their competitors adding that it was reported in a banker’s conference which had been attended by their colleagues that banks had so far lost over 40 trillion shillings through cybercrime but did not specify over which period.

He said that although the losses could have also been as a result of fraud, even fraud involves cybercrime, and called upon people to pay attention and report cyber cases.

Birivumbuka also brought to light the challenges faced by law enforcement regarding cybercrime. Among these is low confidence in cyber investigation institutions, cost implications associated with cybercrime investigations, and the lack of public awareness of what constitutes cybercrime and where to report it.

He noted that the challenges pose significant obstacles for law enforcement, and addressing them is crucial to effectively combating cybercrime.

DPP Jane Frances Abodo recently revealed that Uganda is ranked 7th in Africa among the countries with the highest number of cases in organized crime.

*Source – URN*


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  1. avatar
    Kinyera Lakomekec says:

    I think the judicial review if this ruling has to be initiated as soon as possible to avoid breathing of corruption. Where will this leave journalism and it’s associates carrying out investigation on public demands?

    Above all, suspects will tend to threaten people who are on record while doing their evil things. Evidences would have been avoided in court rulings, and perhaps leading to a gap resulting to corruption.

    Assuming, a public officer admits taking a a bribe while on phone interview with a journalist being recorded without consent and he/she after the reports come out, denies? Who will be held liable????

    Uganda government, if you want to legalize corruption, let parliament move a motion than coming out with bogus court rulings. 😳

    1. avatar
      MAGOLO RONNEY says:

      So we need to ask for permission from wrong doers and thieves before secretly recording their evil voices🤔🤔
      At this level we are soon calling in the sword to decide over blood!!!

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