Free Press Initianve founder Joan Chirwa says Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Bill will violate human rights which includes listening and monitoring private conversations.
Chirwa in a statement released today said in as much as the legislation is intended to guard against the misuse of ICTs for criminal activities, combat cybercrime and help to ensure a safe and secure internet for all Zambians, unfortunately there are a number of clauses that seek to undermine human rights and the freedom of expression and of the press.
“As the Zambian Government pushes ahead with the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Bill of 2021, the Free Press Initiative (FPI) notes with great concern several clauses in the Bill that violate human rights such as the right to individual privacy, freedom of expression, a free and independent media as well as citizens at large”.
“Once successfully passed, the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Bill of 2021 will expose private conversations of individuals by monitoring phone calls and wiretapping, a practice of connecting a listening device to a telephone line to monitor conversations secretly without the consent of the individual(s) involved. It will no longer become illegal for government to do so even without a court order,”read the statement in part.
Published on February 4, 2021, the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Bill, 2021 has already been approved by Cabinet awaiting deliberation in Parliament by Members of the National Assembly.