New Ethiopian law targets online crime

By Tinishu Solomon
Posted on Thursday, 9 June 2016 12:15

However, human rights activists are wary that the “computer crime proclamation” could be used as a tool to silence dissent.

Sharing defamatory speech or spam could get at least three years in prison, according to the new law.

Previously, the bill was tabled for discussion before MPs six weeks ago and they refereed it to parliament’s Law, Justice and Administration Affairs Standing Committee for further scrutiny.

Head of the standing committee, Gebregziabher Araya said the new law was meant to fill an existing void in the existing criminal law and criminal procedure legislation in addressing cybercrimes.

He said it will help prevent and control criminal acts on institutions such as banks and airlines, as well as on infrastructure, computers and networks.

The law says aims to control and prosecute criminal activities, including cyberattacks and electronic theft, which could be carried out online.

The law also includes restrictions on illegal content data and sending obscene messages to minors by transmitting, distributing, making available or possessing pictures, videos, or images on computers.

The law, whose most severe penalty is 10 years’ imprisonment for sharing pornography online, was approved on Tuesday.

Understand Africa's tomorrow... today

We believe that Africa is poorly represented, and badly under-estimated. Beyond the vast opportunity manifest in African markets, we highlight people who make a difference; leaders turning the tide, youth driving change, and an indefatigable business community. That is what we believe will change the continent, and that is what we report on. With hard-hitting investigations, innovative analysis and deep dives into countries and sectors, The Africa Report delivers the insight you need.

View subscription options