World

President Kenyatta signs cybercrimes law amid protests

President Kenyatta signs cybercrimes law amid protests

The law also authorises stiff penalties for producers and those sharing of child pornography.

Kenya has criminalized online offences including publication of false information, cyber espionage and cyber bullying among others.

However, the Act also introduces broad offences that critics fear could be abused by the State to stifle dissent or unflattering reporting.

Following the passing of the Bill, generating and spreading fake news on social media could now land you in jail for at least five years, or leave you with millions of shillings to pay in court fines. This Bill amends various provisions of the Public Trustee Act, bringing it into conformity with the Constitution. Pundits say this can easily be used to crack down on critical coverage of the Government, its officials and agencies.

The clause may go against the principles of freedom of expression by attempting to criminalise people - mostly bloggers - who may knowingly or unknowingly publish false information. He has assented into law Cyber Crime Bill.

Sharing pornographic content, through various electronic means will attract a maximum fine of Sh300,000 or 30 years in prison or both if proven.

Such crimes were listed as; cyber espionage, computer fraud, unauthorised access, interference and interception to security systems as well as use of illegal devices and access codes.




He has appended his signature to the bill which automatically becomes Cyber crimes Act.

Punishment for this can be a fine of $50 000 or up to two years in prison, or both.

Through his Twitter handle, Statehouse spokesman, Manoah Esipisu announced the signing of the Bill by the President into law yesterday, sparking online uproar among media stakeholders.

The Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) Secretary General Eric Oduor said the union was studying the new law.

Before Kenyatta signed the Bill, there were demands to have Parliament review the law to make sure that it does not violate the right to media freedom and expression, according to the newspaperThe Daily Nation.

Earlier, Esipisu had promised CPJ that presidency would consider reservations raised about the Bill before signing it into law.


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