Rorisang Kgosana
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
20 Jan 2017
6:30 am

Anti-revenge porn law added to Cybercrimes Bill

Rorisang Kgosana

New offences also mean child porn will be comprehensively criminalised.

Picture: Lowvelder.

Blackmailing an individual by disclosing intimate pornographic content in cyberspace could soon lead to a criminal charge as the final draft of the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill will be tabled in Parliament in the near future.

Yesterday, Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development John Jeffery said a new section was included in the final draft to criminalise the harmful disclosure of pornography, known as “revenge porn”.

The new section was based on the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act of 2007.

“The proposed amendment aims to criminalise the disclosure of pornography, threats to disclose pornography and disclosure or threats to disclose pornography for the purposes of obtaining any advantage from a person.”

The Bill was available for public comment in 2015 and criticism was raised about child pornography being dealt with by a law that mainly relates to the classification of films and publications, which is the purpose of the Films and Publications Act.

Jeffery said the new Bill proposes amendments to the Sexual Offences Act to comprehensively deal with child pornography in accordance with the proposals of the Lanzarote Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, and the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime.

“The new offences will mean child pornography is now comprehensively criminalised in legislation and, thereby, addresses the current fragmentary approach.”

He emphasised the Bill would not be used to increase the state’s surveillance powers, as, according to clause 27 of the Bill and section 21 of the Criminal Procedure Act, data related to cybercrimes is seized in terms of a warrant.

“The seizure of data in terms of a search warrant thus cannot be regarded as a form of surveillance, which, by implication, implies the secretive monitoring of the communications of a person.”

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Serious cyber offences have been committed since the passing of the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act (Rica) as it primarily deals with interception of fixed line and mobile communications rather than investigating cybercrimes.

“Amendments, which the Bill aims to effect to the Rica, fall within the general principles put in place to protect persons against unlawful interception of communications and are specifically to address the increase of cybercrimes.

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