By KASONDE KASONDE –
TRANSPORT and Communications Minister Brian Mushimba has said he will,in the forth coming session of Parliament present three bills to regulate the use of social media and protect the consumers.
Mr Mushimba said he would present before Parliament the Cyber Security and Cyber Crime Bill, Data Protection Bill and E-commence Bill that would creating an environment that supports productive use of Internet and social media.
He said the Bills were meant to ensure productive usage of the Internet and help the growth of the economy on the back of the Internet.
Mr Mushimba said the country had agencies such as the Zambia Information Communication Technology Agency (ZICTA) and the Police that looked at existing laws and see whether they were being broken on social media.
“The same way that we put speed limits on the road as our responsibility as Government to control speed on the roads so that citizens are not exposed to danger, is the same logic that as the Internet grows, it is regulated to protect the masses,” Mr Mushimba said.
The minister said the fact that someone was on social media did not mean that they could disregard the laws of the land and engage in criminal activities, but that the Bills would see to it that they were pursued and persecuted if found wanting.
Mr Mushimba said the Bills would augment the space and ensure that the power that was given to agencies to investigate and arrest were cleared up and reinforced to promote good use so that people were protected.
He said the Government had noted with concern the issues of cyber bullying, fake news and frauds as well as criminal activities where people were creating multiple accounts and committing crimes.
Mr Mushimba said in promoting the use of social media and the virtual systems that could be achieved through the Internet like ‘Smarting up Zambia’ that was aimed at increasing efficiency in governance, it was necessary to protect the masses.
He said in achieving the Smart Zambia, the Government had a responsibility to ensure that it was achieved in an environment that protected consumers.