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Revenge porn and malicious online messages a step closer to being criminalised

7 December 2020 9:06 AM
Tags:
Parliament
Cybercrimes Bill

South Africa's Cybercrimes Bill was passed by Parliament last week and awaits the President's signature in order to become law.

After what feels like many years and much consultation, South Africa's Cybercrimes Bill was passed by Parliament last week.

It now lies on the president's desk to be signed into law.

The law will be criminalising the distribution of harmful messages

Individuals can obtain protection orders because of online acts

The disclosure of intimate images is criminalised

Sarah Hoffman is a lawyer with a special interest in digital privacy and co-founded Klikd, which provides real tools for parents to help their children use social media safely and responsibly.

Hoffman talks to Refilwe Molotos about how South Africa should soon have new laws around cybercrimes which affects every single internet user.

With regards to the issue of revenge porn, Hoffman says this is the second piece of legislation that sees this officially criminalised, and is a positive step.

The Act says specifically criminalises the disclosure of an intimate image and it talks about images where you can actually identify in some way, whether it be through words or visuals, the person who is in the data image, and where it is distributed without their consent.

Sarah Hoffman, Co-Founder - Klickd

The Act will also allow a person to apply to the magistrate's court for a protection order to prevent the further disclosure of that image, she adds.

Although these laws are welcomed, she says the problem with digital content is just how difficult it is to contain it once it is on the internet.

The biggest reason behind this new bill is the rise of cybercrime.

Sarah Hoffman, Co-Founder - Klickd

The Bill criminalises hacking, malware, and ransomware.

Where big companies have ransomware attacks...and hold a companies' data hostage, and want some kind of payment, usually these days some kind of bitcoin, and this is not criminalised and companies will have to report this immediately.

Sarah Hoffman, Co-Founder - Klickd

Another key area of the new Bill is called 'malicious communications. Hoffman explains that this is the distribution of harmful data messages which incite damage to property or incite violence or even threaten such damage or violence.

These kinds of data messages are specifically criminalised

Sarah Hoffman, Co-Founder - Klickd

Revenge porn and malicious communications are most applicable to the everyday person, she says.

What is nice about the mechanism of a protection order is you can get that interim order granted with immediate effect.

Sarah Hoffman, Co-Founder - Klickd

Listen to the interview with Sarah Hoffman below:




7 December 2020 9:06 AM
Tags:
Parliament
Cybercrimes Bill

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