The Kenya government is set to pass the Computer and Cybercrime Bill into law after its approval by cabinet as east African countries push for regional harmonization of cyber-crime laws. The bill is set to be tabled in parliament for debate and then go to a vote within the next few weeks. After that, it is expected to be signed by the president before the end of the year.
According to the Kenya’s ICT cabinet secretary, the Computer and Cybercrime Bill 2016 will target illegal access, online fraud, money laundering, phishing, cyber-stalking and child abuse, among other things.
Cyber-criminals can only be guarded against by collective and collaborative efforts by regional governments and the private sector. In a situation where each government has individual policies and laws regarding the problem, the battle would be lost at the expense of the regional economy.
Harmonising cyber-laws will enable the establishment of east African e-government and e-commerce programmes and are expected to cover data security, network security, cyber-crime, information systems and electronic transaction.
Kenya has seen a rise of internet-enabled crimes ranging from banking fraud, mobile money transfer and personal data hacking now the region needs a properly regulated industry and thorough protection of digital platforms.
The Bill is also aimed at improving investigations into cyber-crimes by making provisions for procedural law tools and securing electronic evidence for effective national and international cooperation.