Uganda's draft laws for addressing cybercrime are ready for viewing and have been listed as a business priority for the Cabinet, according to a progress report for an ICT parliamentary committee.
Once the laws -- the Computer Misuse Bill, the Electronic Signatures Bill and the Electronic Transactions Bill -- pass through the Cabinet, they will then go on to Parliament for debate.
The three draft laws were developed by the Uganda Law Reform Commission, while a fourth -- the Securities and Central Depositories Bill -- was developed by the Ministry of Finance. The bills were reviewed by the ministries of finance, justice and ICT before they were submitted to the Cabinet.
"In its sitting on January 16, 2008, Cabinet discussed the principles for drafting three laws to support the proliferation of electronic commerce in Uganda," the progress report, which was presented in Parliament last week, reads.
The five member states of the East African Community (EAC) are also coordinating efforts to harmonize and pass cybercrime laws that would be effective throughout Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. A common information security policy on cybercrime formulated by East African countries will serve as a foundation for new laws.
The new laws will allow member countries to prosecute cybercriminals regardless of where the crime was committed in the EAC region. However, progress has been slow in all five countries.
The final harmonized legal framework is to be considered by the EAC Taskforce on Cyber Laws in Burundi in September and adopted by the relevant organs of the EAC by November 2008.