Zambians Face Jail Over Internet Abuse

Lusaka, Zambia.

Lusaka: Zambia’s increasingly authoritarian government has drafted a new law to regulate internet use with those found guilty of misconduct facing jail terms, reports said.

The Cybersecurity and Cyber-crimes Draft Bill, 2017 is expected to be tabled before Parliament for deliberations.

A Board for the Zambia Cybersecurity Agency will be constituted and will comprise representation from the Zambia Air Force, Zambia Army, Zambia National Service, Zambia Police Service and Zambia Security Intelligence Services.

According to the draft, authorities will be allowed to install on the computer or computer system any software program or interconnect any equipment to the computer or computer system, for the purpose of the investigation and access, inspect and check the operation of a computer that the investigating officer has reasonable cause to suspect is or was impacted by a cybersecurity incident.

A person who refuses to co-operate with or hinders a cyber-inspector from conducting a lawful search or seizure commits an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding 100, 000 penalty units or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year, or to both.

Recently, the Media Institute of Southern Africa – Zambia Chapter cautioned the government against regulating online space, saying doing so will result in Zambians’ freedoms shrinking further.

Source: AllNet Africa/Lusaka Times