Just a few weeks after over 100 Kenya government websites were taken down by an Indonesian student hacker, the Uganda government is the latest victim of the same practice, this time perpetrated by a group from neighbouring Rwanda calling itself RwandaHackers.
According to a post made on the hacker’s blog, the hacked websites are:
– Ministry of Internal Affairs
– Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS – Republic of Uganda)
– Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda
– The Petroleum Exploration and Production Department of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development
– National Medical Stores – Uganda
The group claims to be fighting for press freedom in Uganda, adding that: “A new bill tabled before parliament threatens the freedom of the press in Uganda. The country’s journalists need the world to speak out against it that’s why we hack Uganda government websites.”
The blog post further adds that even though President Museveni was initially considered a “new breed” of African leaders, who believed in and supported press freedom, the changing times have proved otherwise.
States the blog:
One of the reasons why Museveni was originally labelled one of a new breed of African leaders was because of media freedoms. Magazines and newspapers thrived under the new “visionary” leader and broadcast media were liberalised, leading to the creation, over the years, of more than 150 private radio and television stations.
There have always been cracks in this relationship between state and the fourth estate, but they have become ever more glaring over the last 10 years, characterised by harassment of journalists critical of the government and the closure of media houses. In Uganda today, radio stations, especially those upcountry, in more rural areas where most Ugandans live, are considered very brave to host senior opposition figures, like Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change. Some stations have denied him paid-for airtime, citing “orders from above” or for fear of being blacklisted by the Intelligence and the Broadcasting Council. “