Kenya’s Cybercrimes Bill 2016 Proposes Stiff Penalties for Offenders

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Kenya has witnessed a rising a rise in cybercrime cases in the recent past. These cases have affected both the public and private sector leading to massive losses on both fronts. The rise in these cases has in part been attributed to the lack of proper legislation to guide both the law enforcement authorities and the Judicial system on how to deal with them. This is set to change with the passing of The Computer and Cybercrimes bill, 2016.  The bill provides for offenses relating to computer systems; offers guidance on the collection of forensic material for use as evidence and outlines how Kenya will cooperate in matters cybercrime with other nations.

Offenses

The legislation proposes tough and strict penalties for those who commit offenses under the law. For instance, infiltrating security measure and gaining access to a computer system, with full knowledge that such actions are unauthorized attracts a fine of 5 million shillings or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 3 years or both. Now if this offender accesses this computer system with the intent of facilitating another crime under law such an individual will face a fine of 10 million shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or both.

Interference with computer systems which then threatens national security; causes injury or death; threatens public health and safety or leads to a financial loss to any person will attract a fine of 20 million shillings or imprisonment term of 10 years. An interesting provision in the bill is one that states that a person who without authorization does any act which intercepts the transmission of data over a telecommunication system commits an offense and is liable to a fine not exceeding 10 million shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

This will be a huge benefit to telcos as well as the Communications Authority of Kenya which has been dealing with the increased emergence of sim-box tools. These tools lead to direct revenue losses to the telcos. Committing of either of the crimes stipulated by the act, on protected computer systems (systems used in defense and security matters) will once found liable be fined 25 million shillings or face a prison term not exceeding 20 years.

Also included in the bill are harsh penalties for child pornography with fines not exceeding twenty million or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty five years. In one that targets scammers, a person who fraudulently gains or leads to unlawful loss to others will be fined 20 million shillings or face imprisonment terms not exceeding 10 years.

Here is the bill, however you will need to be signed up to access it.

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