National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale has lauded the President's decision to sign into law the Cybercrimes Bill.
The new law spells out harsh punishment to cybercriminals and the process of seeking reparation by victims of cybercrime. Such offences could land a culprit in jail for a term of not more than 10 years or be slapped with a Ksh.20 million fine or both.
"It has a very good Bill and the public should be aware about the penalties because going forward it will not be business as usual", said Duale on Wednesday at Parliament buildings.More news: Tejaswi to meet governor tomorrow for formation of his party`s government
President Uhuru Kenyatta during the signing of the bill.
The clause says if a person "intentionally publishes false, misleading or fictitious data or misinforms with intent that the data shall be considered or acted upon as authentic", they can be fined up to 5 000 000 shilling (nearly R620 000) or imprisoned for up to two years. Sharing of fake news and propagating hate speech will attract a Sh5 million fine or a two-year prison sentence, or both.
Reports indicate that the Cyber crimes Act provides for offences relating to computer systems including; unauthorised access, unauthorised disclosure of passwords, cyber espionage, publication of false information, child pornography among others.More news: PNB Fraud case: CBI files 2nd charge sheet, Mehul Choksi 'Wanted'
Sharing pornography through the various electronic means will attract a maximum fine of Ksh.300,000 or 30 years in prison or both.
The goal of the Bill is to "protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer systems, programs and data", "prevent the unlawful use of computer systems", "facilitate the investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes", and "facilitate global co-operation on matters". This Bill amends various provisions of the Public Trustee Act, bringing it into conformity with the Constitution.
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.More news: Harry Styles is making a sitcom about his life in One Direction
The Africa coordinator for the Committee for Protection of Journalists (CPJ), Angela Quintal had spoken against the new law and urged President Kenyatta last week not to sign the law.