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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Sending malicious WhatsApp messages could soon land you in jail

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Sending malicious messages which incite damage to property or violence, threaten people with damage to property or violence, or contains an intimate image without that person’s consent could soon land you in jail.

According to reports, government is set to revive the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill which lapsed when parliament dissolved in May last year.

The majority of the bill focuses on criminalising the theft and interference of data, but it has also introduced new regulations surrounding any ‘malicious’ electronic communication, a BusinessTech article has shown.

“The bill states that any person who is found guilty of sending these types of messages is liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years or to both a fine and such imprisonment,” the article reads.

It also states that the bill will bring SA inline with other countries’ cyber laws and mitigate the ever-growing threat of cybercrime.

According to BusinessTech, malicious messages include:

  • Data messages which incite damage to property or violence
  • Data messages which threaten persons with damage to property or violence
  • Distribution of data message which contains an intimate image without that person’s consent

Should it be revived, the proposed Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill will likely only come into effect on a date decided upon by President Cyril Ramaphosa in a government gazette.

Carlo Petersen
Journalist with a passion for people. Strives to be lekke. Motto: Eats gatsby one bite at a time.