On social media, no one is safe. Not even the President. The adoption of the Computer Crime and Cyber Crime Bill into law was long overdue. With the rapid technological advancements have challenged existing legal frameworks, policies,and practices globally. Internet as a medium of communication, business, transactions, and social conversations has accentuated the need for revisiting existing laws.
Yesterday Cabinet approved the Cyber Crime, Security and Data Protection Bill which seeks to combat cyber-crimes and enhance security in the wake of widespread abuse of the platform.
These laws seeks to amend and repeal some existing laws such as the Criminal Law Codification Reform Act, Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act among others.
This growth defied barriers, geographies, and restrictions that historically slowed or inhibited the transmission, collection of information in electronic format. Personal, financial information usually stored in hard files, is easily accessible, collected, analysed and in some instances weaponized. Access to the internet has equally evolved from being a preserve of the few to becoming a broader service accessed by 49.5% of the country’s population.
Minister Ndlovu was standing in for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa.
“Cabinet considered and approved the Cyber Crime, Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill, which was presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs (Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi.) The Bill seeks to combat cyber-crime and increase cyber security in order to build confidence and trust in the secure use of information communication technologies,” said Minister Ndlovu.
The Bill will provide for penalties for persons who generate, distribute or broadcast data concerning an identifiable person knowing it to be false and intending to cause psychological or economic harm; and curbing the transmission of pornographic material.
More specifically, the Bill provides for the following:
- Provision and approval of codes of conduct and ethics to be observed by all categories of data controllers;
- Data Protection with due regard to constitutional rights and public interest under POTRAZ;
- Establishment of a Data Security Centre and a Data Protection Authority;
- Investigation and collection of evidence relating to Cyber Crime and unauthorised Data Collection and breaches thereof;
- The admissibility of electronic evidence for such offences;