Cybercrimes Bill to impact financial services


South Africa’s new Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill, which is set to be tabled in Parliament in the coming weeks, is set to grant far-reaching powers to the country’s law enforcement agencies and will affect virtually all Internet users.

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With the aim of preventing cybercrime, consolidating existing legislation and protecting strategic assets and infrastructure, the Bill will introduce up to 50 new offences, which carry penalties of up to 10 years' imprisonment and R10 million in fines. People involved with compliance, electronic communications, financial services, information security, IT systems and copyright management will be among those affected by the new legislation.
The Bill grants the South African Police Service and the State Security Agency the power to conduct investigation, search and access oppositions and seizures and government departments, including Telecommunications and Postal Services and Defence, will be required to set up cybercrime hubs.

According to Deputy Minister of Justice & Constitutional Development John Jeffery, when enacted, the bill will expand law enforcement jurisdiction beyond South African borders: "Jurisdiction in respect of all offences which can be committed in cyberspace is expanded substantially in terms of the bill, mainly to deal with cybercrime which originates from outside our borders. Since many cybercrimes originate from another country, the bill further provides for procedures which facilitate mutual assistance with other countries in the investigation of cybercrimes."

Jeffery attempted to quell privacy concerns by stating that the Bill does not give any powers to the State Security Agency "to control the Internet".

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