President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed the Cybercrimes Bill into law, bringing South Africa’s cybersecurity laws in line with that of the rest of the world.
Act of parliament
The bill, which is now an act of parliament, creates offences for and criminalizes, amongst others, the disclosure of data messages which are harmful.
Examples of such messages include:
• Those which incite violence or damage to property
• Those which threaten persons with violence or damage to property
• Those which contain an intimate image sent without the subject’s consent
Other offences include cyber-fraud, forgery, extortion and theft of incorporeal property. As well as the “unlawful and intentional access of a computer system or computer data storage medium” and the “unlawful interception of, or interference with data.”
A person who is convicted of an offense under the Cybercrimes Act is liable to a fine or imprisonment for a period of up to fifteen years, or both to a fine and imprisonment.