Cybercrime and law in Zambia

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Simusokwe, Lupiya
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This paper argues that Zambia does not have a comprehensive legal structure to deter and prosecute cybercrime. It does this by examining international and national approaches to cybercrime, with a view to providing guidance for an effective framework capable of addressing this 'new' crime. Although the Computer Crimes and Misuse Act no 13 of 2004 now criminalises some cybercrimes, the Act still does not prohibit other major cybercrimes and this paper further argues that the Act imposes lighter sentences for offences that otherwise require hefty punishments. The paper further examines the relevant traditional legislation that may be used to combat cybercrime and advocates for appropriate legislative amendments that would take into account the present and possible future technological developments. The statistics of cybercrime in the country, it is argued, do not reflect the actual level of cyber criminality due to non reporting of such incidents and the essay advances ways that may ameliorate this unfortunate status. The paper also considers and examines the National ICT policy (2007) and Fifth National Development Plan (2006-2010) vis a vis government commitment in promoting safety on the electronic frontier especially that the development agenda in these documents advocate for increased use of ICT's. The guides for future reforms (legislative or otherwise) meant to address cybercrime concerns as depicted in the two policy documents are also highlighted. The paper also advocates for the adoption of an appropriate legal and regulatory framework especially in light of the fact that the attainment and sustenance of the MDG's is much dependent on reduced abuse of technology. The Cybercrime is a major global challenge requiring coordinated international effort. In a networked world no island is an island; cybercrime penetrates all countries because of its ability to cross national bovmdaries. In light of the above, this paper assesses the efforts at COMESA and SADC regional bodies and also recommends a model law that is based on the first international treaty which plays a key role in combating cybercrime while at the same time highlights the major concerns raised against the treaty. Furthermore, alive to the fact that criminal or penal sanctions can only be one element of the overall response to cybercrime, and that sanctions may not necessarily be the most efficient or desirable form of response, this paper, also discusses the viability of employing other ways of preventing or minimising the harm of cybercrime through means such as technological measures, regulatory controls and civil proceedings. Finally, it recognises that legislation alone cannot fight cybercrime; law enforcement must be equipped to implement the law, and private citizens must know about cybercrime.
Computer Crimes , Electronic Commerce-Law and legislation-Zambia