FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Unwanted Witness Joins Inaugural Cohort of the Spyware Accountability Initiative

Leading funders and companies announce over $4 million in support of efforts to address the harms of spyware on civil society across the globe

Kampala-March 6, 2024 — Unwanted Witness announced today that it has been awarded a grant from the Spyware Accountability Initiative, whose mission is to grow a global field of civil society organizations who are advancing threat research, advocacy and accountability to address the use and trade of spyware.

The Ford Foundation’s Dignity and Justice Fund, fiscally sponsored by the New Venture Fund (NVF), launched the Spyware Accountability Initiative with a founding contribution by Apple and additional support from Open Society Foundations, Okta for Good, and Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Grantees of the Dignity and Justice Fund’s Spyware Accountability Initiative were recommended to the board of NVF by the Fund’s advisory board, which consists of members of the Ford Foundation leadership team. An independent, global technical advisory committee advised on the Fund’s grantmaking strategy. Over the next five years, the Spyware Accountability Initiative will support a growing community of researchers and advocacy organizations investigating, exposing, and bringing accountability to the global mercenary spyware trade.

“Unwanted Witness is honored to be selected as a grantee of the Spyware Accountability Initiative, joining a distinguished cohort of organizations dedicated to combating the pervasive harms of spyware,” said Dorothy Mukasa, the Executive Director at Unwanted Witness. “This initiative will further advance our efforts forward in holding accountable those responsible for the development, sale, and use of spyware, particularly in the global South where its impact is most severe.”

The Initiative’s first wave of grants focuses on three key areas: international advocacy and litigation; investigations and research; and Global South regional field building and organizational strengthening. 

“Addressing the global spyware industry cannot be the work of any one company or funder or government; it requires an approach as interconnected as our world is today,” said Lori McGlinchey, director of Ford Foundation’s Technology and Society program. “Ford Foundation is proud to be a part of the Spyware Accountability Initiative, which harnesses the resources and technical prowess of Apple, the funding and social justice acumen of philanthropy, and the cutting edge research and advocacy of civil society worldwide. The Spyware Accountability Initiative is a major step towards confronting and neutralizing the threat mercenary spyware poses to human rights defenders, journalists, and dissidents around the globe.”

About Unwanted Witness

Unwanted Witness is a Civil Society Organization founded in 2012 to promote online freedoms and protect digital rights in Uganda. The organization aims to create a safe and secure digital environment for citizens and promote the responsible use of technology.

Unwanted Witness has become a leading voice in advocating for internet freedoms, and digital rights, particularly the right to privacy, digital identity, digital inclusion, and freedom of expression. The organization aims to empower citizens to use technology in a safe, secure, and effective manner while holding public and private entities accountable for digital rights violations.

For More Information, Contact;

P. O. Box 71314 Clock Tower K’la Uganda | Plot 26, Ssentema Road | 


Telephone: +256 414 697 635 

Email: | Twitter: @unwantedwitness |

Skype:  unwantedwitness | Facebook: unwanted witness Uganda 

To learn more, visit the homepage of the Spyware Accountability Initiative.