New laws to stem cyber crime in Kenya

Kenya still relies on Central Depositories Act and the Penal Code, among other frameworks, that are not clear with regard to arresting and prosecuting cyber-crime suspects. Photo/FILE

What you need to know:

  • Cyber criminals becoming more sophisticated as Information Communication Technologies advance.
  • Kenya still has no adequate laws in place for the prosecution of such offenders and relies heavily on the Central Depositories Act and the Penal Code.

New laws are being drafted to fight cyber crime in Kenya, the Director of Public Prosecutions has said.

He said due to increased prevalence of cyber crime and related offences, the country loses about Sh2 billion annually.

According to him, cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated as Information Communication Technologies advance.

“Cyber crime is now recognised as a threat to national security, key ICT infrastructure and the enjoyment of constitutional human rights of Kenyans such as the right to privacy,’' he said in a statement.

As a result, the DPP’s office has established a dedicated cyber crime unit to spearhead the prosecution of cyber criminals.

Kenya still has no adequate laws in place for the prosecution of such offenders and relies heavily on the Central Depositories Act and the Penal Code.

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Mr Tobiko said the cyber crime draft Bill will form the basis for robust public consultations as the country moves closer towards the enactment of comprehensive cyber crime law in 2014.

A cyber crime investigator Martin Luther Bwanga on Thursday told Nation.co.ke that the laws will help curb the vice.

“It is a fact that cyber criminals especially in Kenya take advantage of the weakness in the law and the nascent systems of law enforcement,” he said.

The Evidence Act also introduced amendments which allow for admissibility of electronic evidence and the conditions for its storage, preservation and presentation.

“In light of this, the ODPP has organised a workshop to review existing laws and develop a comprehensive draft bill on cyber crime in line with relevant international best practices,” he said.

The workshop that started on Sunday in Mombasa ends on Friday and was attended by among others CEO Kenya Law Reform Commission Joash Dache, CEO Kenya National Council for Law Reporting Micheal Murungi, deputy DPP in charge of International, Economic and Emerging Crimes Dorcas Odour and Senior Assistant DPP in charge of the ODPP Cyber crime Unit Nicholas Mutuku.

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