Govt drafts laws to fight cyber crime, bullying

Govt drafts laws to fight cyber crime, bullying

VICTORIA FALLS, April 17 (The Source) – Government is drafting laws aimed at protecting internet users and fight cyber crime and bullying which is now said to be rampant in Zimbabwe, an official has said.

Briefing journalists on the sidelines of the Innovative Africa Digital Summit (IAD) in Victoria Falls, Postal and Telecommunications Regulation Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) acting director-general Baxton Sirewu said three drafts have been compiled and would soon be deliberated on in Parliament.

The process is being coordinated by the Office of the President, Sirewu said.

“Potraz is working with the Government and various stakeholders involved in the security sector to come up with laws that protect online users. Rights online should be the same as everywhere and we are happy to say there is a set of draft bills which are being worked on and will be put into practice once adopted,” he said.

The three draft bills are Computer Crime and Cyber Crime Bill, Electronic Transaction and Electronic Commerce Bill and the Data Protection Bill.

Line ministries-Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development are working closely with the Office of the President on the drafting, Sirewu said

He said the Computer Crime and Cyber Crime Bill will closely monitor issues of general use of devices such as phones, laptops, computers and the security of internet users online.

The Data Protection Bill, he said, would be used to guard against online invasion of people’s privacy while the Electronic Transaction and the Electronic Commerce Bill will oversee issues relating to mobile money transfers and online buying.

“The bills provide a legal framework for the criminalisation of computer and network related offences in line with regional and international best practices as well as protecting service providers,” said Sirewu.

There has been no specific legal framework that addresses challenges and abuse of online facility per say.

The 13th ICT summit, which is being attended by about 550 delegates from 45 countries and seeks to enhance ICT growth in Africa, ended on Thursday.