In 2016 ODAC began a partnership with Privacy International to explore the intersections between cybercrime and cybersecurity regulation, with human rights. Whilst engaging with partners in Malawi and Zimbabwe, we focused in particular on the attempts by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development in South Africa to push a Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Bill through to Parliament, which in its early iterations seemed markedly unconstitutional.
Whilst the content of the Bill has presented challenges, there can be no denying the importance of trying to regulate cybercrime in particular within South Africa, whilst still acknowledging the other rights of access to information, freedom of expression and personal privacy encapsulated in our Constitution. In 2017 the US Federal Bureau of Investigation ranked South Africa sixth and seventh on the cybercrime predator list, thus highlighting the need for intervention. Yet, there are practical concerns outside of regulation that also need to be considered when contemplating how to deal with the scourge when considering a lacuna of technical expertise to help businesses and governments deal with incidences.
Bearing this broader context in mind, ODAC undertook an advocacy and lobbying campaign to try and ensure the Bill could pass constitutional muster. This included parliamentary submissions, direct inclusion and engagement with the drafting campaign, and even media awareness:
To ensure the sustainability of these efforts, ODAC have created a document outlining the lessons learned that we hope will be of value to our partners everywhere. This document can be downloaded here.
We are also proud to launch our policy brief on the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity legislative process in South Africa, which you can read here: