Friday, 16 November, 2018

Kenyan leader signs cybercrimes bill into law

Duale's ex-lover Nazlin Umar slams Uhuru over cybercrime laws terms them dictatorial Duale's ex-lover Nazlin Umar slams Uhuru over cybercrime laws terms them dictatorial
Patty Aguilar | 18 May, 2018, 11:50

The Bill also details measures against child pornography, unauthorised access, illegal devices and computer forgery.

President Uhuru Kenyatta early today signed the Computer and Cybercrimes Bill, 2017, which criminalises among other things the posting of fake news on social media.

President Uhuru Kenyatta in a past event.

However, the Act also introduces broad offences that critics fear could be abused by the State to stifle dissent or unflattering reporting.

Under the new law, anyone who intentionally publishes false, misleading or fictitious data or misinforms, with or without any financial gain, commits an offense and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine of up to $50,000 or imprisonment for up to 10 years.

Ahead of the signing, there were numerous petitions from the public, civic society groups and the media against some of the provisions in the Bill. Pundits say this can easily be used to crack down on critical coverage of the Government, its officials and agencies. He has assented into law Cyber Crime Bill.

Duale's ex-lover Nazlin Umar slams Uhuru over cybercrime laws terms them dictatorial
Uhuru recently assented to the Cybercrimes bill

He has appended his signature to the bill which automatically becomes Cyber crimes Act. If found guilty, they may attract punishment of 2-years in prison and cash fine of shs5million.

Sharing pornography through the various electronic means will attract a maximum fine of Ksh.300,000 or 30 years in prison or both.

The new law has made allowances to mitigate this with hackers facing a fine of Sh5 million shillings or a three-year jail term or both for unauthorised access, interference, interception, and disclosure of passwords and cyber espionage.

The Bills were presented to the President for signing by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi.

"It seems now the Government is bringing back criminal libel", said Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) chairman Churchill Otieno.

New York-based media rights watchdog the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) warned that the bill could criminalize free speech, "with journalists and bloggers likely to be among the first victims if it is signed into law".

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