Draft Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill 2015


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Open for public comment until 30 November 2015

11 September 2015

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has initiated a process to review and consolidate statutory provisions relating to cybersecurity currently contained in various statutes and invites members of the public to comment on the draft Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill.

The draft Bill creates offences and prescribes penalties relating to cybercrimes, notably the interception, illicit possession and fraudulent use of personal or financial information or data; prohibited acts relating to passwords or access codes; computer related fraud or terrorist activity; and the unlawful interference with a computer device, computer network or database.

The Bill further prohibits the dissemination of data messages which advocate, promote or incite hate, discrimination, violence and damage to property and identifies a number of prohibited financial transactions.

Addressing the transnational scope of cybercrimes, the Bill broadens the notion of jurisdiction to allow for the effective investigation and prosecution of such crimes. It further regulates powers to investigate, search, access or seize items relating to cybercrimes and to obtain, preserve and present volatile evidence in electronic or digital form.

The Bill seeks to establish various structures to deal with cybersecurity and regulates aspects of international cooperation in cybercrime investigations. For example, it proposes a designated contact for immediate assistance during cybercrime investigations in line with Article 35 of the European Convention on Cybercrime, as well as the establishment of a Cybersecurity Response Committee to co-ordinate cybersecurity efforts.

Additional protections are suggested for critical sectors dependent on information and communication technologies and classified as National Critical Information Infrastructures. These sectors may include defence, law enforcement, communications, energy, transportation, water, food supplies and emergency services.

Lastly, the Bill further places a legal obligation on electronic communications service providers to inform clients of cybercrime trends that may affect them and suggest preventative measures, establish procedures for clients to report violations on its network, and to itself report any suspected offences on its network and preserve information which may assist law enforcement agencies investigating cyber offences.

Interested parties wishing to comment on the Bill can do so by submitting written comments by email or fax to +27 21 406 4632. For information or queries relating to submissions, please contact SJ Robbertse on +27 21 406 4770.

The deadline for submissions is 30 November 2015.

The Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill

Discussion on Bill

By Christine Strutt, Copyright and Trademark Attorney

0007 - Rouse

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