What is in the Computer and Cybercrimes Bill 2017?

Cybercrime is defined as an offence against computer systems or offences committed by means of computer systems.

PART I (Clause 1-3) –Short Title and Interpretation of Terms

This part defines the terms used in the Bill to provide guidance on interpretation. The objects of the Bill are to;

  1. protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer systems, programs and data
  2.  prevent the unlawful use of computer systems
  3. facilitate the investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes
  4. facilitate international co-operation on matters

PART II (Clause 4-21)

These clauses outline cyber-related offences and their penalties. Offences include: unauthorized access, access with intent to commit or facilitate further offence, unauthorized interference, unauthorized interception, illegal devices codes, unauthorized disclosure of password or access code, enhanced penalties for offences involving protected computer system, cyber espionage, false publications, child pornography, computer forgery, computer fraud, cyber stalking and cyber bullying, aiding or abetting in the commission of an offence, offences by a corporate and limitation of liability, recovery of assets, and offences committed through the use of a computer system.

It also provides guidelines on compensation order by courts upon conviction for offences outlined under this part.

It is important to note that unauthorized access is defined as gaining control to access of the data/program in question without entitlement to its access. It is also accessing the computer system without consent from the person entitled to access the system.

It does not matter if the unauthorized access is not directed at any particular program/data, a program/data of any kind or a program/data held in any computer system.


PART III (Clause 22-32)

This part outlines investigation procedures including search and seizure of stored computer data, such power to search without warrant in special circumstances, record of and access to seized data, production order and grounds for such application of a production order by a police officer, expedited preservation and partial disclosure of traffic data, such period for preservation and extension of the said period. Other procedures given are real time collection of traffic data, interception of content data, procedure for making application to intercept and such grounds to be satisfied before such interception.

The part provides for confidentiality of investigations and powers to deal with obstruction of investigations.

PART IV (Clause 33-41)

This Part provides for international cooperation and contains provisions relating to trans-border border and international cooperation.

PART V (Clause 42-46)

It contains the general provisions including territorial jurisdiction, forfeiture, consequential amendments and the power to make regulations.

This article was written by
Sylvia Katua of Mzalendo Trust .
It was published on Nov. 2, 2017.


You must login to comment