Government Risks Breaching Constitutional Right by Outlawing VPN

Judith Nabakooba, the Minister of ICT & National Guidance

According to the ICT minister Judith Nabakooba, the Ugandan government is seeking to make it unlawful for Ugandans to access a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

Clearly the minister seems to have been ill advised on this particular Matter. There seems to be a staggering level of ignorance among the government officials about what a VPN is.

A VPN is not an app used to bypass blocked social media sites, neither is any Virtual Private Network designed  to encourage citizens  to default the OTT tax.

VPN predates social media. VPN is supposed to be a secure tunnel where users on public networks like the internet  are guaranteed security and privacy oof their data. In so doing, the VPN in its attempt to execute its primary purpose of security and privacy, is capable of bypassing OTT and blockade. This comes as bonus points for Ugandans as they get a secure network and save money at the same time.

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The move by government to criminalise use of VPN   directly contradicts the 1995 Ugandan constitution which recognises the right to privacy and calls for its protection according to article 27(2).

The right to privacy is a constitutional right and any interfearance by the government is a clear breach of what the constitution stands for.

Ugandans cannot have their cake and eat it too.

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