Legal Alert | Kenya | High Court Suspends the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act, 2018

The Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) on 29 May 2018 obtained a conservatory order (the Order) from the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court of Kenya at Nairobi suspending the provisions of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act, 2018 (the Act).

Although the Order suspends the coming into force of the Act, it also specifies the following provisions as having been suspended:

1. Composition of the National Computer and Cybercrimes Coordination Committee (the Committee).

2. The following offences:

a) unauthorised interference of computer systems
b) unauthorised interception of data from computer systems
c) false publications and publication of false information
d) child pornography
e) cyberstalking and cyber-bullying
f) cybersquatting
g) identity theft and impersonation
h) interception of electronic messages or money transfers
i) wilful misdirection of electronic messages
j) cyber terrorism
k) inducement to deliver electronic messages not meant for the recipient
l) intentionally withholding erroneously delivered messages
m) unlawful destruction of electronic messages

n) wrongful distribution of obscene or intimate images
o) fraudulent use of electronic data
p)issuance of false e-instructions

3.Obligations on persons operating computer systems to report cyber threats to the Committee.

4. Obligations on employees to relinquish codes and access rights to the employer on termination of employment.

5. Search and seizure provisions in relation to interception and real time collection of computer data and traffic data as well as the provisions on powers of police officers to access computer and systems data without a search warrant.

The application and the Petition filed by BAKE have been certified as urgent and the High Court has already given directions on the filing of responses by the Attorney-General and the other respondents who include the Kenya Union of Journalists, the Inspector-General of Police, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Speaker of the National Assembly.

The Petition will be mentioned in Court on 18 July 2018 for purposes of giving directions on the hearing until which date the aforesaid provisions of the Act as well as the entire Act’s operationalisation remain suspended.

Should you require more information, please do not hesitate to contact Aisha Abdallah, Wangui Kaniaru or Abbas A. Esmail

Aisha Abdallah
Wangui Kaniaru
Abbas A. Esmail
Senior Associate

The content of this alert is intended to be of general use only and should not be relied upon without seeking specific legal advice on any matter.