Kenya – On Wednesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed a new law that outlaws the abuse of people on social media.
Proponents of the law, including the legislators who pushed it through parliament, say the proliferation of social media has given rise to new crimes including online scams, which were not covered by previous laws.
Last week, a New York-based media rights watchdog the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has warned that the bill could criminalise free speech, “with journalists and bloggers likely to be among the first victims if it is signed into law”.
The law lays the ground for investigation and prosecution of computer and cybercrimes including cyber-harassment and “publication of false information”, a statement from the presidency said.
Violations to be penalised under the law include cyber-espionage, false publications, child pornography, computer-borne forgery, cyber-stalking and cyber-bullying among others, the statement said, without spelling out the penalties.