File: Traditional dance troupes and choirs perform within Parliament grounds
during the official opening of the National Assembly

Panos Institute Southern Africa is calling on the Zambian Parliament to seriously reflect on the proposed cyberlaws and their potential negative effect on citizens’ use of online platforms to seek, receive and share information.

In 2017, the government announced, through the Minister of Transport and Communication, plans to table the Cyber Security and Cyber Crime Bill, the Data Protection Bill and the E-commence Bill. While the Minister has indicated that the government intention through these bills is to support productive use of the internet and social media, we are concerned that the bills may achieve the opposite.

As members of the Parliamentary Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technologies continue with their sittings to review information and media policies in Zambia, and to discuss the digital migration programme, we reiterate that Zambia does not need new laws to stop any criminal activity using social online media and ICTs. Panos is of the view that the current laws in the Penal Code, the Computer Crimes and Misuse Act and the Copyright and Performance Rights Acts and the acts of private companies in protecting their privacy and data banks are enough to stop any cyber-crime from being planned and committed in Zambia. Instead of introducing new laws, we encourage Parliament to review and clean up the existing pieces of legislation to make it easier for citizens to use ICTs and online tools to access and share information.

Panos therefore calls on Parliament, through its Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technologies to reject the proposal to introduce new laws, as these may hinder online communication, discourage free flow of information and hinder access to publicly held information.

The people of Zambia look up to Parliament to keep checks and balances on the executive arm of government, and we have full confidence in the committee exercising this oversight in a manner that will address our concerns.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. So PF cadres are all really foolish to an extent that they are not able to think and see the their Government’s foolish myopic activities ,laws and regulations , this is our country together even for us who do not belong to any political parties . Though i always voted for PF , but going forward unless they change may just take away my votes and another 5% those i can influence , so take this as a warning

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  2. Seems you guys have nothing specific to say. I always respect what a man, woman, or silicon doll has to say but some of you people only open your mouths to stay relevant in an environment that is increasingly seeing your worthlessness.
    Everything that goes up must come down. Wind up and join a more progressive cause, write a book, cross the Mediterranean, or travel the world. But don’t waste people’s time with irksome nothings.

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  3. It looks like PF would like to control people’s cyber views on issues like corruption in Govt so they can carry on as if all is normal like they do on dead ZNBC

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  4. This a two edged sword. Prying into people’s privacy is tantamount to human rights abuse. But also to abuse technology to promote terrorism, to insult and bully innocent people or defraud are also abuse of human rights. That’s why president Putin doesn’t own a smart phone.

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