Zam­bia pushes ahead with con­tro­ver­sial cy­ber se­cu­rity leg­is­la­tion

Zambian Business Times - - TECHNOLOGY - Source: itwe­bafrica

Fol­low­ing months of scru­tiny and de­spite con­cern from civil rights groups over lack of con­sul­ta­tion and pos­si­ble re­stric­tion of so­cial me­dia plat­forms, Zam­bia's cabi­net has ap­proved the in­tro­duc­tion of the con­tro­ver­sial Cy­ber Se­cu­rity and Cy­ber Crimes Bill.

The Panos In­sti­tute South­ern Africa, Blog­gers of Zam­bia and the Zam­bia Cen­tre for So­cial De­vel­op­ment are among sev­eral civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions that have ar­gued the gov­ern­ment should fo­cus on strength­en­ing ex­ist­ing cy­ber­crime laws in­stead of in­tro­duc­ing "bills that have been hid­den to the pub­lic".

Min­is­ter of In­for­ma­tion and Broad­cast­ing Services Dora Siliya said the bill was ap­proved by cabi­net in prin­ci­ple this week and that once en­acted, will fa­cil­i­tate the es­tab­lish­ment of the Zam­bia Na­tional Cy­ber Se­cu­rity Agency. This body will serve as the high­est co­or­di­na­tion cen­tre "for all mat­ters re­lated to cy­ber se­cu­rity at na­tional level."

Siliya added that the leg­is­la­tion would pro­vide for in­ves­ti­ga­tion and col­lec­tion of ev­i­dence for com­puter and net­work re­lated crimes, for the ad­mis­sion of elec­tronic ev­i­dence for such crimes and "ad­e­quately deal with var­i­ous crimes com­mit­ted us­ing so­cial me­dia plat­forms."

If en­acted, the Bill will add Zam­bia to a list of other coun­tries - in­clud­ing Kenya, Tan­za­nia and Uganda that have drafted cy­ber laws to ad­dress what au­thor­i­ties de­scribe as the abuse of so­cial me­dia.

The Me­dia In­sti­tute of South­ern Africa MISA Zam­bia and Blog­gers of Zam­bia have since is­sued a joint state­ment.

MISA Zam­bia chair­per­son Hellen Mwale and Blog­gers of Zam­bia co­or­di­na­tor Richard Mu­longa ex­pressed con­cern over the speed with which the gov­ern­ment is mov­ing to en­act the leg­is­la­tion that is aimed at reg­u­lat­ing the in­ter­net and so­cial me­dia in Zam­bia.

"We call upon blog­gers, jour­nal­ists and ac­tivists to join our clar­ion call for a free, open and safe in­ter­net ecosys­tem for all, in­clud­ing women and girls. Our cam­paign both on Face­book and Twit­ter is us­ing the hash­tag #OpenS­paceZM," they said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zambia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.