Comment and input sought on draft cyber security bill


As cyber criminals make more and more inroads into, among others, national security, a draft bill on cybercrime and cyber security is currently in the public domain for comment.

Estimates are that cyber-related offences are escalating and currently exceed a billion Rand a year. The development of legislation in terms of the draft bill is, according to the department a milestone on the road to safer communities envisaged in the National Development Plan (NDP).
“Government is committed to putting in place measures to effectively deal with cybercrime and address aspects of cyber security,” the statement said.

The draft bill aims to, among others, identify and declare national critical information infrastructures and measures to protect them and regulate “aspects of international co-operation as regards investigation of cybercrimes”.

The bill, according to senior State Law Advisor Sarel Robbertse, aims to keep South Africa safe from criminals, terrorists and other states and will also consolidate all the country’s cyber security laws into one.

The bill, according to law firm Michalsons, will also give the SA Police Service and the State Security Agency extensive powers to investigate, search, access and seize just about anything (such as a computer, database or network) wherever it might be located, provided they have a search warrant. Foreign states and SA will co-operate to investigate cybercrimes.

Written comments can be submitted to the Department of Justice on or before November30, 2015. They can be sent to [email protected] or faxed to (012) 406 4632.