Sharing fake news and pornography soon to be a crime in Kenya - Merife Obinna's Blog

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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Sharing fake news and pornography soon to be a crime in Kenya


Sharing "fake news" electronically is now a crime in Kenya as President Uhuru Kenyatta will assent to a new law that penalises the offender to a two year jail term or Sh5 million (N90.1m), according to The Star.


According to the report, Kenya's Parliament passed the Computer and Cyber Crimes Bill last month despite protests from the media that it could be abused to stifle press freedom.


The Bill stipulates stiff penalties on cyber espionage, false publications, child pornography, computer forgery, cyberstalking and cyber-bullying.


Most offences related to online harassment have previously been charged through the ancient Penal Code and the NCIC Act.


Also sharing pornography through the various electronic means will attract a maximum fine of Sh300,000 or 30 years in prison or both if proven.


Those found guilty of spreading child pornography face a fine of Sh20 million or 25 years in prison or both.


Cyberterrorism, according to the Bill attracts a maximum of Sh5 million in fines or 10 years in prison or both.


The election period ahead of the 2017 polls was infiltrated with fake news spread mostly through social media and messaging Apps.


During the debate in Parliament, MPs raised concerns that they were being sent nude photos by some lady they did not know.


The new law will be a welcome relief to the corporate sectors with Kenyan firms losing billions of shillings annually.


In April, IT services firm Serianu released its annual cybercrime report indicating that in Kenyan lost Sh21.2 Billion to cybercriminals.


This was an increase from the previous years with a 2017 report by Deloitte put the loss at Sh17.7 billion for 2016 and Sh15 billion in 2015.


At least a five million shillings fine or a jail term not exceeding three years or both upon conviction awaits hackers who gain unauthorized access to computer system.


Hackers will also be liable to a Sh10 million fine or 10 years in jail, or both if they commit any other crimes defined in the Bill once they illegally gain access.


The Bill also says that anyone found to have caused unauthorized interference to a computer system, program or data upon conviction is also liable to a fine not exceeding Sh10m or imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or both.