Kenya's High Court, through Judge Chacha Mwita, has suspended 26 sections of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act, 2018. This follows a petition filed by the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE).
Judge Mwita granted the request by BAKE, Article 19 and the Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) to give conservatory orders as the Act comes into effect on 30 May 2018 and would have dire consequences on freedom of expression, freedom of the media and freedom of information.
The 26 sections of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act that were suspended until the case is heard are:
- Section 5 – Composition of the National Computer and Cybercrimes Coordination Committee
- Section 16- Unauthorised interference
- Section 17- Unauthorized interception
- Section 22 – False publications
- Section 23 – Publication of false information
- Section 24- Child pornography
- Section 27 – Cyber harassment
- Section 28 – Cybersquatting
- Section 29 – Identity theft and impersonation
- Section 31 – Interception of electronic messages or money transfers
- Section 32 – Willful misdirection of electronic messages
- Section 33 – Cyber terrorism
- Section 34 – Inducement to deliver electronic message
- Section 35- Intentionally withholding message delivered erroneously
- Section 36 – Unlawful destruction of electronic messages
- Section 37- Wrongful distribution of obscene or intimate images.
- Section 38- Fraudlent use of electronic data
- Section 39- Issuance of false e-instructions
- Section 40- Reportng of cyber threat
- Section 41- Employee responsibility to relinquish access condes
- Section 48 – Search and seizure of stored computer data
- Section 49 – Record of and access to seized data
- Section 50 – Production order
- Section 51- Expedited preservation and partial disclosure of traffic data
- Section 52 – Real-time collection of traffic data
- Section 53- Interception of content data
“In the past several years, there have been attempts by the government to clamp down on the freedom of expression online. This Act is a testament of these efforts, especially after other sections were declared unconstitutional by the courts," said James Wamathai, Director of Partnerships at BAKE.
Cover image credit: Kenya Judicary building. Wikimedia Commons