Cyber Attack

A consortium of civil society organizations on Tuesday urged the Zambian government to halt its plans to present to parliament bills aimed at regulating the social media.

The government plans to, among other bills, present the Cyber Security and Cybercrimes Bill when parliament resumes sittings next week.

The bill was aimed at criminalizing computer-based offenses and network-related crimes, authorize the taking of measures to safeguard the cyber space and facilitate the establishment of an agency that will serve as the upmost center for all matters on cyber security at national level.

The government also intends to present the Data Protection Bill and the Electronic Commerce and Transactions bill that will facilitate electronic transactions and secure electronic signatures.

But the organizations have asked the government not to go ahead with the presentation of the bills in order to allow for more consultations with stakeholders.

Lewis Mwape, Executive Director of the Zambia Council for Social Development, who spoke on behalf of the other organizations during a press briefing, said that Zambia has enough laws dealing with cybercrimes and that the enactment of the new laws will hinder freedom of expression and access to online information.

He said the presentation of the bills should be halted as the government has not been transparent in the formulation of the bills.

“The process has been in the dark, it needs to be opened so that stakeholders are given an opportunity to look at the bills and make comment,” he said.

Zambia has wished to join countries such as Tanzania and Uganda that have come up cyber laws following increased concerns of abuse of the social media. Enditem

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