Cyber Security & Cyber Crime Bill Symposium Summary

Cyber Security & Cyber Crime Bill Symposium Summary

On March 18th, 2021, The American Chamber of Commerce in Zambia successfully hosted a Cyber Security and Cyber Crime Bill Symposium. The symposiumwas focused around the Cyber Security and Cyber Crime Bill, which is currently in its third reading in the national assembly and awaiting assent from the President. The symposium was made possible through the sponsorship of Prudential ZambiaPWC and Southern Sun Hotel. The symposium discussion was moderated by Mr. Mafipe Chunga, an Associate Director at KPMG and the panelists included; Mr. Leonard Mwanza, CEO of the Bankers Association of Zambia, Ms. Linda Kasonde, founder of LCK Chambers, Mr Vikas Sharma, a Partner at PWC and Ms. Fredah Banda, a PHD Software Engineering Specialist.

SALIENT DISCUSSION POINTS;

  1. The Bill’s infringement on constitutional human rights and freedoms such as the right to privacy, freedom of expression, freedom to information and media freedom.
  2. The Bill’s relevance to offshore cyber-crimes and threats.
  3. The feasibility, capacity and security of the large data collection storage system and the secure channels required for the bill to be put into practice.
  4. The Bills lack of specificity and vague definitions for key terms that constitute cyber-threats and/or crimes
  5. The controls and powers of regulators and the ‘Minister’ referenced in the Bill.
  6. The auditing and compliance implications of the Bill for local and foreign businesses across different industry sectors.
  7. The Bills compliance to international standards of cyber security regulations such as the AU’s Malabo convention stipulations.

 

Following a fruitful discussion, it was prescribed that the Bill’s assent be refuted so as to account for, and rectify the necessary provisions that raise constitutional and security concern, in order to better protect the citizens of the nation. With many concerns raised on human rights and freedoms, it was proposed for the Bill to be re-amended in order to do away with infringing provisions of the Bill, such as sections 29 and 54, to name a few. It was also prescribed that the controls and powers of the regulators be clearly stipulated in an amendment of the bill in order to curb the abuse of power by regulating officers. Moreover, a call to specify the ‘Minister’ in reference was also made owing to accountability and curbing the potential abuse of government resources. Finally, government was also strongly urged to to reconsider the bills provisions with regards to legal search and seizure of cyber spaces.