New Cybercrime law to be ratified this year

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The Information Network Security Agency (INSA) and the Ministry of Justice submitted the drafted cyber crime law to the Council of Ministers for approval last month. The bill is expected to be tabled for discussion and ratification by the House of People’s Representatives this year.
The law is intended to protect Internet banking transactions and will include provisions allowing for stiff penalties on convicted hackers.
Currently telecom fraud law and the 2005 penal code are used for cyber crime but it doesn’t fully cover the existing complicated and sophisticated cyber crime.
Mohammed Edris , INSA Chief communication officer told Capital that this proclamation is addressing the increasingly sophisticated technology.
“This is a warning to people that the government will not let computer abusers get away free” he added.
Alemayhu Getu who is a software engineer agreed saying “it is hard to prosecute all cyber crimes because there is no specific law for it’’.
“This will be the main piece of legislation to govern personal data protection. Whenever you open a bank account, use ATMs, join a social networking website or book a flight online, you hand over vital personal information. Some hackers get unauthorized access to this kind of data but we do not have the legal protection to deal with them,” he said.
The new law would criminalize unauthorized access to computer systems and deter using a computer in the commission of a criminal offence.
The use of e-banking and other computer-based transactions has increased as well as cybercrimes which are often complicated in investigation and prosecution.
According to the INSA bulletin there were 15 cyber crimes in 2012 that targeted three banks and caused them to lose 27 million birr.
A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) LLP Global Economic Crime released a survey last year, saying cyber crime is a growing threat globally and the second most commonly reported economic crime affecting financial service firms.