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PARLIAMENT PASSES INTO LAW CYBER SECURITY AND CRIME ACT 2021
Ibraahim Sesay
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PARLIAMENT PASSES INTO LAW CYBER SECURITY AND CRIME ACT 2021

PARLIAMENT PASSES INTO LAW CYBER SECURITY AND CRIME ACT 2021

PARLIAMENT PASSES INTO LAW CYBER SECURITY AND CRIME ACT 2021

Spanning three consecutive days of intensive debates at the Sierra Leone House of Parliament, from Monday 21st to 23rd June 2021, the Parliament of Sierra Leone yesterday unanimously passed into law the Bill titled "The Cyber Security and Crime Act 2021"

The Cybersecurity and Crime Act of 2021 was tabled by the Hon. Minister of Information and Communications, Honourable Mohamed Rahman Swaray ten  years after Sierra Leone signed the ECOWAS Directives for member state to legislate laws to combat cyber related crimes. Amendments were made by parliament to the bill having regards for wider stakeholder engagements.

Being an Act to provide for the effective, unified and comprehensive legal, regulatory and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention, detection, prosecution and punishment of cybercrimes; prevention of the abusive use of computer systems; to provide for the establishment of structures to promote cybersecurity and capacity building; to provide for the timely and effective collection of electronic evidence for the purpose of investigation and prosecution of cybercrime; and the protection of computer systems and networks, electronic communications, data and computer programs, intellectual property and privacy rights; to provide for facilitation of international cooperation in dealing with cybercrime matters and to provide for other related matters therewith.

According to the Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray, this is one of the most progressive and modern pieces of legislation which will promote security and stability in Sierra Leone’s cyberspace by providing an effective and enforceable national cyber security legal framework to protect Sierra Leoneans from the increasing global cyber threats and cyber-attacks.

As part of the preparation for the implementation of this law, the EU through ECOWAS has invited Sierra Leone to participate in an introductory judicial Training of Trainers (ToT) for judges, magistrates law enforcement officers and prosecutors who will become trainers to disseminate the acquired knowledge to others at the national levels. This is part of the capacity building component of the EU Funded ECOWAS project to support member states in building their cybersecurity capacities.”

“With this Law the Ministry will now begin the process of domesticating the Malabo Convention, which the African Union Convention on the Data protection and Cybercrime as well as ascend to the Budapest convention to enable us benefit from Mutual Legal assistance and International Cooperation in the fight against cybercrime and related matters,” Minister Swaray said.

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