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Zimbabwe finalises new cybercrime bill

Zimbabwe finalises new cybercrime bill

The Zimbabwean government is finalising a new cybercrime bill to criminalise false information posted on the internet, revenge porn, cyber-bullying and online activity against the government, among other activities.

"Zimbabwe government is at an advanced stage of implementing news laws to deal with crimes on the Internet and other electronic platforms," reports techzim.

The Minister of ICT & Courier Services, Supa Mandiwanzira, is quoted as saying the Cyber Crime and Cyber Security Bill will go to parliament soon, and is expected to be fast-tracked into law before the end of 2017.

The Bill is reportedly at drafting stage by the Attorney-General and will be passed back to the minister for tabling before parliament this month.

"Though the name of the bill has changed and some new provisions apparently added, this is not a new bill. It was previously called the Computer crime and Cybercrime Bill," says techzim.

Although there is currently no clarity on which exact laws were added, government owned Sunday Mail today gave an idea however of what to expect.

According to the publication, Zimbabweans who abuse social media will face maximum 10 years in jail; foreign-based Zimbabweans "who cause harm back home" using social media or any other computer-based system will be extradited and prosecuted; cybercrimes include: inciting violence, revenge porn, racist/xenophobic material, bullying, causing "substantial" emotional stress, communicating falsehoods and degrading other people, intellectual property theft, and spreading falsehoods using the Internet.

Techzim says human rights activists have expressed fears that government may use the cybercrime laws to curtail the freedoms of Zimbabweans.

"Zimbabwe is one of the countries that have taken too long to have laws in place to deal with crimes on the Internet," reports techzim.

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