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Kenya's president signs new law that criminalises fake news, obscene content

Kenya's president signs new law that criminalises fake news, obscene content

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed into law the Computer and Cybercrimes Bill, 2017.

The Act - which spells out stiff punishment to cybercriminals -provides for timely and effective detection, prohibition, prevention, response, investigation and prosecution of computer and cybercrimes.

The new law also provided for offences relating to computer systems, cyber espionage, false publications, child pornography, computer forgery, computer fraud, cyber stalking and cyber bullying, aiding or abetting in the commission of an offence. He has assented into law Cyber Crime Bill.

"It has a very good Bill and the public should be aware about the penalties because going forward it will not be business as usual", said Duale on Wednesday at Parliament buildings.

The Bill, which was fronted by Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale, proposed a Sh5 million fine or two years jail sentence for those found guilty of spreading fake news.

President Uhuru Kenyatta during the signing of the bill. Spreading of child pornography will attract a Sh20 million fine or 25 years in prison or both.

Under the new law, anyone who intentionally publishes false, misleading or fictitious data or misinforms, with or without any financial gain, commits an offense and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine of up to $50,000 or imprisonment for up to 10 years.

Sharing pornographic content, through various electronic means will attract a maximum fine of Sh300,000 or 30 years in prison or both if proven.

The Act establishes the National Computer and Cybercrimes Coordination Committee and facilitates global co-operation in dealing with computer and cybercrime matters. This Bill amends various provisions of the Public Trustee Act, bringing it into conformity with the Constitution.

He has appended his signature to the bill which automatically becomes Cyber crimes Act.

Last week, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called on Kenyatta not to sign into law a cybercrimes warning that It will it will stifle press freedom.

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