Cyberspace regulation always evolving: Govt

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Blessings Mashaya

SENIOR STAFF WRITER

mashayab@dailynews.co.zw

INFORMATION Communication Technology (ICT) minister Jenfan Muswere says the government must always be abreast with the latest technology trends in order to fully regulate the cyberspace. 

This comes as technology advancements brought about by the digital revolution have also come with an increase in cyber crimes ranging from identity theft, banking fraud and cyber-bullying.

In a bid to fight this digital warfare, the government is planning to fast-track the Cyber Bill which would punish those deemed to have abused social media or peddled falsehoods against the State and citizens once it becomes law.

Speaking during a Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) strategy review workshop held in Mutare yesterday, Muswere said despite the impending law, the government would have to remain on its toes.

“Given the rapid changes that are now a permanent feature in the technological space, regulating the ICT sector has become a menacing challenge to all involved.

“The world of big data, Internet of things and artificial intelligence, among other emerging technologies, flows so fast that, if regulatory practices are not constantly reviewed, instead of creating an enabling environment, the regulator can become the bottleneck.

“Rapid changes in technology equally affect policy makers. The government, through the ministry of ICT Postal and Courier Services is, however, committed to playing its oversight role as well as providing a forward looking and adaptable policy environment for the ICT sector,” Muswere said.

According to Clause 164 of the proposed Cyber Bill, anyone found guilty of communicating false information on the country or citizens can be jailed for five years.

On the other hand, Potraz director general Gift Machengete said 2020 was a difficult year for his organisation.

“Refocusing, is indeed necessary and demanded by the fast-changing technological environment and of course the volatile economic situation which requires us to adapt and adjust the way we do things.

“Economically, 2020 has been quite challenging as the transition from US dollars to the local currency as the main trading currency came with a myriad of challenges,” Machengete said.

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