The public is encouraged to submit their comments on the arriving Cybercrimes Bill, which was passed by the National Assembly in November 2018. This version, however, is quite different from those previously published.
The old bill was divided into two parts, cybercrime and cybersecurity respectively.
While the cybercrimes section was praised, the proposed cybersecurity security section raised concerns on how this would affect the government’s censoring of the freedom of speech of individuals, as well as their rights.
Having taken this into consideration, the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services decided to abolish all clauses pertaining to cybersecurity, and only focus on cybercrimes.
The new offences created under the Bill include but are not limited to: “revenge porn”, infringements on copyrights – which will include peer-to-peer sharing of illegally obtained content, offenses which relate to promoting or inciting violence against a person or group, hate or the promotion of such malicious messages.
Another new offence on the Bill is copyright infringement and piracy.
If it is a cyber offence such as copyright infringement, electronic communications service providers will be obliged to report the said copyright crime.
Although it is unlikely that companies will hand over such information, they will be obliged to comply for reputational reasons.
Once aware of a copyright issue, the company has a duty to report it to SAPS.
It is still difficult to determine when the new Cybercrimes Bill will be passed and implemented, but many high-profile data breaches may hurry the process along.