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Computer and Cyber Crimes Bill 2016: Government calls for public participation

Written by MyGov

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru (centre) flanked by Principal Secretary for Broadcasting and Telecommunications Sammy Itemere (left) and Eng Victor Kyalo of ICT and Innovation, addresses consultation meeting with Media Editors recently, where he took them through Computer and Cybercrime 2016 Bill at his Telposta Towers office

The Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) has invited Kenyans to make contributions to the Computer and Cyber Crimes Bill 2016 attached below. It can also be accessed on www.mygov.go.ke. 

The Constitution of Kenya 2010 states that any Bill should have the input of Kenyans (public participation), before it is taken to Parliament for debate.

The Computer and CyberCrimes Bill 2016 was mooted out of great public interest. There was need to tame abuse of web based systems and reduce or eliminate cyber crime arising from increased use of new technology.  “The Bill will have the input of Kenyans/public and various stakeholders before it is taken to the National Assembly, Senate then AG’s office,” noted ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru.

The Bill borrows heavily from international standards and global scholars. It has the input of experts from Europe, Inter-Agency Committee for Formulation on Cyber-crime, the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime and the Council of Europe experts.

According to the CS, they all agree that the Bill meets international best practices and standards. Kenyans are however free to make contributions to the Bill.

The Computer and Cyber Crimes Bill 2016 began in September 2015 with input from Central Bank of Kenya, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kenya Law Reform Commission, Communications Authority of Kenya, the National Police Service, National Intelligence Service and Technology Service Providers of Kenya, Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Strathmore University, Information Communications and Technology Authority, National Communications Secretary and the Ministry of ICT.

The Bill lays down wide ranging offences relating to aspects of unauthorised access or access with intent to commit further offences involving protected computer systems, child pornography, cyber-staking and computer fraud which will protect Kenyans from cyber bullying and other social ills.

Other key aspects of the Computer and Cyber Crimes Bill 2016 include protecting online cash transactions such as M-Pesa and Airtel Money, Orange Money, Mobikash among others. It will protect mobile payment channels used by most Kenyans – which process 7.5 million transactions valued at Ksh2.9 billion daily,” said the Cabinet Secretary.

“It will also protect the Kenya Electronic Payment and Settlement System (KEPSS) that transacts more than Ksh100 billion from local and international vulnerabilities.”

The Bill, once enacted into law will assist law enforcement agencies cope with investigations and prosecutorial challenges, after criminals’ devised new ways of coasting crimes such as child abuse, identity theft and online fraud, money laundering, phishing, botnets, cyber-stalking, hate speech, radicalisation among others.

It will also see computer aided forensic equipment used as evidence in courts of law to reduce online fraud.

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  • THE COMPUTER AND CYBERCRIMES BILL, 2016
    In preamble PART I (Clause 1-3) there should be mention of computer security and forensics, qualification, investigating procedure that should be admissible in our legal systems to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes;
    In PART II (Clause 4-19) subsection 3 (A) there should be addition of authentication and non repudiation of computer systems, programs and data
    in 4. (1) A person who causes, whether temporarily or permanently, a computer system to perform a function, by infringing security measures, with intent to gain access, and knowing such access is unauthorized with intention other than authorized purpose
    PART III (Clause 20-30 there should be procedure of collecting live evidence, role of computer forensic in evidence presentation

    It should be noted Drive-by’ attacks are currently the predominant form of web attack. (Drive-by attacks occur when a user visits a malicious webpage and is infected without taking any of the conventional actions, such as downloading a file) and such may be weel protected by these bill since their actions are unintentional.

    The bill talks of One-to-one attacks which is Most closely fitting the traditional image of cybercrime hacker and encompass
    insider data thefts and many forms of fraud, blackmail or eCrime attack. There are other forms cyber attacks that have not been tackled including One-to-many attacks model which include Malware or viral attacks, spread, for instance, via email. Spam and Adware are also forms of one-to-many attack in which a single source spews out unwanted marketing messages to millions of recipients as well as Many-to-one attacks involve willing accomplices or hijacked devices launching mass attacks on a single target. This is commonly designed to deny services to the users of the targeted machine
    The bill should should specify an authorised person and qualification needed to become so. It well known that Computer forensics has been essential in convicting many well known criminals, including terrorists, sexual predators, and murderers. It should be noted these profession integrates the fields of computer science and law to investigate crime. For digital evidence to be legally admissible in court, investigators must follow proper legal procedures when recovering and analyzing data from computer systems using well tested and recorgnised forensics tools and procedures which usually lack in our investigation systems. Some criminals have grown more cautious by hiding incriminating data through encryption techniques however most criminals “don’t have the knowledge or patience to implement [encryption software] on a continued-use basis.”

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