“The Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act: A Double-Edged Sword for Zambia”

Dr. Mwelwa

“The Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act: A Double-Edged Sword for Zambia”

The Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act was supposed to be a tool for safeguarding Zambia’s digital space and citizens from cyber threats. However, just a few months after its enactment, it is becoming increasingly clear that it may be a double-edged sword that could do more harm than good.

The Patriotic Front government passed the law without paying attention to the concerns raised by opposition parties and civil society organizations. They were adamant that they knew better and did not need any advice. As it turns out, they should have listened.

The law looks good on paper, with provisions for the establishment of a Computer Incidence Response Team, a National Cyber Security Advisory and Coordinating Council, and the protection of persons against cybercrime. However, the problem lies in the implementation of the law.

The law gives the government sweeping powers to monitor and control online activities, which, if abused, could lead to the suppression of dissenting voices and the infringement of citizens’ fundamental rights.

Already, we are seeing the negative effects of the law on the freedom of expression space in Zambia. Members of the opposition and civil society activists are being arrested and charged under the guise of cybercrime. This is undoubtedly a ploy by the government to silence any opposing voices and maintain a grip on power.

Furthermore, the law’s provisions for the registration of cyber security providers and the collection and preservation of evidence of computer and network related crimes could result in the invasion of privacy and abuse of power.

It is essential to note that laws should not only be made for the current government in power, but also for future governments. The enactment of this law without proper consideration of the possible consequences to citizens is a clear example of lack of foresight.

In conclusion, the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act could have been a valuable tool in safeguarding Zambia’s cyberspace and citizens from cyber threats. However, the manner in which it is being implemented is far from ideal, and the law may end up doing more harm than good. It is imperative that the government reconsiders their implementation strategy and considers the possible consequences before proceeding with further enforcement.


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