Give Potraz the power: Residents

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Jeffrey Muvundusi
in BULAWAYO

Residents here yesterday said they were in full support of the proposed Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill, a development they said was crucial in putting to an end the misuse of the Internet and social media.

This came out during public hearings on the Bill that took place in the city’s high density suburbs.

“I am happy to know that Potraz is going to be the cyber security authority and data protection centre.

“This is because they have proven capacity and are already coordinating cyber security initiatives and the majority of the data that needs to be protected is already in the telecoms sector for example personal information is not easily accessible as Potraz put the SIM registration regulations which bar people from easily accessing the information, “ Charmaine Kuradu said.

She added that Potraz has already proven to be efficient as it has been aggressive in consumer protection and has been going around the country educating people on the crimes which are contained in the Bill like online bullying, revenge porn, child pornography and spreading fake news.

However, most residents expressed worry over the fake news and nude images that have characterised social media.

As a result, they appealed for Potraz to be awarded the sole responsibility of being the cyber security and data protection centre.

“We are happy that finally the laws are now in place.
“There has been a lot of fake news that has been circulating and the level of nude pictures on the Internet is taboo and embarrassing for us parents,” said another resident who identified himself as Gift.

A representative from Africa Kibur, a non-governmental organisation — Nozibo Ncube — also added her views: “We applaud the government for this bill. We need a law that falls within the Sadc model law.

“There is need to have an authority that is accountable to Parliament and not the executive and it must also tell us what happens to members of Parliament that are corrupt, it’s silent on that.”

“We are happy that Potraz will be mandated to be the custodian of the cyber security and protection of our data.
“They must continue to ensure sensitive data, especially on our health, is not spread everywhere.”

However, there are also some who felt the Bill was not properly crafted in a development that will result in it being repressive instead of protecting the rights of the people.

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