Army 'Spied' On Parliament, 21 Hotels

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In short
A report by UK organization, Privacy International says the army installed spying malware at parliament, hotels and opposition leaders homes.

The army's Intelligence wing, the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) bugged the Parliament building, 21 hotels and various homes in up-scale suburbs of the city to spy on opposition politicians, according to a new report. 

The report, released by a UK non-profit organization, Privacy International shows that CMI installed spying malware for tapping phone conversations, emails and chats on devices like phones and laptops.
 
The malware more commonly known as FinFisher software was installed in the hotels and infected on different laptops and phones through open wifi networks, adds the report.
 
Among the 21 hotels named in the report, that are being spied on, is the Serena Hotel, where the Forum for Democratic Change launched its manifesto, Hotel Africana, where The Democratic Alliance formed its protocol, Colline Hotel in Mukono, where Democratic Party held its retreat and Protea Hotel, where  civil society launched their free and fair elections campaign. 
 
In the document, labeled secret, the Director of Technical Intelligence captured as ‘Michael Bbosa' says that the agency had through overt and covert operations penetrated hotel systems.
 
The document profiles hotels as centres where people with ‘depraved plans' meet and also centres where foreign journalists meet their sources of information. The document also goes ahead to state that CMI was looking to weed out people who were exposing and leaking information to journalists and opposition politicians from within their own networks. 
 
In a response to the accusations, Serena and Speke Resort hotels have denied knowledge of the tapping. 
 
URN broke the story of tapping software that was being acquired by the government to monitor opposition figures and social media critics. Government vehemently denied the story saying that they did not have the capacity required to tap communications. 
 
The government controlled Uganda Media Centre Spokesperson Ofwono Opondo says that the government does not need to conduct surveillance on opposition politicians given that they enjoy mass support. His Deputy Shaban Bantariza asked for evidence to indicate that the government carried out the operation Fungua Macho.

 

About the author

Raymond Mujuni
Raymond Mujuni is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Mujuni has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Presently a Law student at Makerere University, Kampala, Mujuni started out as a freelancer for URN in 2012.

Mujuni is an investigative journalist, especially interested in Security, Science and Technology. An avid sports fan, Mujuni volunteers with the charity organisation 40 Days/40 Smiles.