THE net has closed in on cyber criminals with the new Cyber Security and Data Protection Act set to address cyber bullying and child pornography among other vices.
Passed through presidential assent on Friday, the Cyber Security and Data Protection Act criminalises an array of security threats that have haunted individuals and the nation at large.
Among other clauses, the law criminalises online bullying as well as production and availing of pornographic pieces or any other child sexual abuse materials and exposing children to explicit sexual activity.
Social media has come with its fair share of challenges, as some individuals are using various platforms to attack others.
This will however become a thing of the past as the new law criminalises cyberbullying and harassment, processing of non-sensitive and sensitive information without the consent of the data subject, hacking, transmission of false information to cause harm and inciting violence.
Dissemination of racist and xenophobic materials is now a criminal offence liable to a fine or imprisonment up to ten years.
The Act is meant to encourage technological development and the lawful use of technology, while bringing to book cyber criminals as evidence generated from computer and electronic systems will be permissible in court for offences in terms of this Act.
The Act will also see the creation of the Data Protection Authority which will replace the Postal Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) in playing the oversight role.
It will also regulate the manner in which personal information may be processed and enforces fair processing of data in accordance with the Act.