MISA concerned over draft cyber security Bill

MAMELLO SEBATANE
Maseru – MISA Lesotho has expressed concern over the Computer Crime and Cyber Security Bill of 2021 that has been presented to parliament by Communications Minister, Keketso Sello, without consultations with other parties that will be affected by this Bill once it becomes law.
In a statement, MISA Lesotho said the Bill was not drafted under candid and inclusive consultations with all potentially affected groups.
Such consultations are imperative at all stages of the legislative process.
“Initial consultations should happen before the legislative text is developed and drafted, that is, when different policy options are still being considered. This is important for ensuring that new legislation is effective in achieving its intended goals,” the statement read.
The manner in which the law is implemented, MISA added, is likely to be ineffective, incomplete, contradictory and in breach of fundamental human rights and freedoms because there was no initial engagement with the potentially affected parties, civil society and experts in the community.
“The hurried manner in which the Computer Crime and Cyber Security Law is being handled by the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology goes against the spirit of the fundamental National Reforms which seek to ensure that Basotho live in a stable, peaceful and secure environment,” MISA said.
MISA Lesotho pleads with Minister Sello to refer the Bill to the National Reforms Authority (NRA) which will subject the draft law to a meaningful public consultation process to assess its full impact, including its impact on different social groups and their human rights, and identify unintended effects and underlying weaknesses.

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