Cy­ber crim­i­nals to be jailed 10 years

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Harare Bu­reau

PEO­PLE who abuse so­cial me­dia face 10 years in jail in terms of the re­fined Cy­ber Crime and Cy­ber Se­cu­rity Bill which goes to Par­lia­ment soon.

For­eign-based Zim­bab­weans who cause harm back home us­ing so­cial me­dia or any other com­puter-based sys­tem will be ex­tra­dited and pros­e­cuted. Among the tar­geted crimes are in­cit­ing vi­o­lence, re­venge porn, racist/xeno­pho­bic ma­te­rial, bul­ly­ing, caus­ing “sub­stan­tial” emo­tional stress, com­mu­ni­cat­ing false­hoods and de­grad­ing other peo­ple.

Phony web­sites that thrive on pil­fer­ing con­tent from rep­utable pub­li­ca­tions and other in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights vi­o­la­tors will be im­pris­oned for five years. Orig­i­nally dubbed Com­puter Crime and Cy­ber Crime Bill, the pro­posed law has been re-en­gi­neered and re­named to give greater bite to en­force­ment. The Bill is with the At­tor­ney-Gen­eral’s Of­fice and could come into force be­fore year-end as leg­is­la­tors have un­der­taken to fast-track its en­act­ment.

ICT, Postal and Courier Ser­vices Min­is­ter Supa Mandi­wanzira told our Harare Bu­reau: “We have up­graded the Bill in a num­ber of ways, and it is cur­rently with the Of­fice of the At­tor­ney-Gen­eral for fur­ther scru­tiny. The changes are in line with Sadc guide­lines to har­monise cy­ber se­cu­rity laws. Nu­mer­ous crimes are be­ing com­mit­ted in cy­ber space. It is now time to take ac­tion against per­pe­tra­tors of these of­fences. We are wait­ing for the AG’s Of­fice to scru­ti­nise the Bill so that it goes to Par­lia­ment as soon as pos­si­ble. We have done all the nec­es­sary con­sul­ta­tions to push ahead with the Bill, and now await due process to fol­low.”

Part IV of the Bill says, “Any per­son who un­law­fully and in­ten­tion­ally, by means of a com­puter or in­for­ma­tion sys­tem, gen­er­ates and sends any data or mes­sage to an­other per­son, or posts any ma­te­rial what­so­ever on any elec­tronic medium ac­ces­si­ble by any per­son, with the in­tent to co­erce, in­tim­i­date, ha­rass, threaten, bully or cause sub­stan­tial emo­tional dis­tress, or to de­grade, hu­mil­i­ate, ha­rass, threaten or de­mean the per­son of an­other or to en­cour­age a per­son to harm him­self, shall be guilty of an offence and li­able to a fine not ex­ceed­ing level 10 or im­pris­on­ment for a pe­riod not ex­ceed­ing 10 years or both such a fine and im­pris­on­ment.”

The Bill pro­vides for es­tab­lish­ment of a Cy­ber Se­cu­rity Cen­tre that will “ad­vise Govern­ment and im­ple­ment Govern­ment pol­icy on cy­ber crime and cy­ber se­cu­rity”.

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