PEN South Africa Concerned About Draft Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill
14 Dec 2015
PEN South Africa has read the draft Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill (B-2015) with extreme concern. There are many features of the Bill which have the potential to harm and make inroads on freedom of expression and impose wide-ranging controls over people who use the internet.
We concur with Right to Know (R2K)‘s assessment of the bill, which highlights its “Seven Deadly Sins“, as well as the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI)‘s concerns regarding the Bill’s potential to infringe the rights to freedom of expression, access to information and the right to privacy.
We have submitted feedback to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, requesting that the Bill be withdrawn and redrafted with input from civil society. We have asked that the Bill be reformulated in such a way that it achieves the protections sought in the safest way and which takes into consideration the freedom of expression clauses in the Constitution and protection of the public interest.
PEN South Africa will take part in the public hearings on the Bill if given the opportunity and will be following the legislative process closely.