The Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill has been passed by Parliament on 2 December 2020. The bill has new laws around the sending of messages and electronic communications which are harmful and to eradicate cybercrime in South Africa. These new laws were first drafted in 2017, and they have since undergone a number of changes. The bill now awaits the President’s signature to take effect.
The Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill in summary seeks to achieve the following :
- Create offenses and impose penalties which have a bearing on cybercrime;
- Criminalize the distribution of data messages which is harmful and to provide for interim protection orders;
- Regulate jurisdiction in respect of cybercrimes;
- Regulate the powers to investigate cybercrimes;
- Further, regulate aspects relating to mutual assistance in respect of the investigation of cybercrime;
- Provide for the establishment of a 24/7 Point of Contact;
- Further, provide for the proof of certain facts by affidavit;
- Impose obligations on electronic communications service providers and financial institutions to assist in the investigation of cybercrimes and to report cybercrimes;
- Provide for the establishment of structures to promote cybersecurity and capacity building;
- Regulate the identification and declaration of critical information infrastructures and measures to protect critical information infrastructures;
- Provide that the Executive may enter into agreements with foreign States to promote cybersecurity;
- Delete and amend provisions of certain laws;
- Provide for matters connected therewith.