The Minister of Information Communications Technologies (ICTs) and Couriers Services, Honourable Supa Mandiwanzira said that the Computer and Cyber-Crime Bill, which has been met with skepticism by the public, is going to be implemented before 2018. The Minister said this during the Zimbabwe Information Communications Technologies (ZICT) Cyber Security Seminar that took place today in Harare.
Mandiwanzira said that the bill’s speedy implementation had nothing to do with elections, which are supposed to be done next year.
“People don’t trust the government, they think we want to get access to their privacy and listen to the conversations and yet we want to protect them” said the Minister.
Mandiwanzira also said that there was need to understand the risks of ‘being online’.
In defense of the bill, the ICT Minister stated that they were terrorists on the internet to either get money or simply disrupt, hence necessary planning was required.
“When other hackers heard that more than $400k was gotten in four days, they were motivated… So we need to be smarter” said Mandiwanzira referring to the Wanner Cry attack that happened recently on internet users.
The ‘Wanner cry; is a ransomware which demands payment after launching a cyber-attack; ransomware is a kind of cyber attack that involves hackers taking control of a computer system and blocking access to it until a ransom is paid according to The Telegraph.
The Wanner cry ransomware is said to be responsible for a global cyber-attack on more than 200,000 thousand organization last month.
Mandiwanzira also commented on the allegations that the computer and Cyber Crime bill was plagiarized from Lesotho; stating the bill was through the consultation of the people of Zimbabwe as well institutions.
“We have not cut and pasted the bill from Lesotho” said the Minister, “There are certain aspects that are linked to the whole of the SADC”.
Although it can be argued that the Computer and Cyber Crime Bill comes at a time where the bank transactions are more digitally inclined and the use of ICTs is increasingly makes Zimbabwe vulnerable. There is a need to assure that the right of privacy for the general public will be protected as we approach elections. Here’s hoping the Bill contributes towards is necessary securing Money and bank transactions are protected.