Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia has welcomed Cabinet’s approval of the National Cyber Security Policy.
MISA Zambia Chairperson Hellen Mwale said that the policy is expected to ensure a well-coordinated governance framework on cyber security, fostering the creation of a secure, reliable, trustworthy cyber environment that increases confidence.
The contents of the policy will provide guidance on how to best to deal with online crimes such as identity theft, pornography, online bullying, human trafficking among other vices that are harmful to human rights and dignity,Ms. Mwale.
Ms. Mwale further said that information generated online is vital for the security and safety of people including the right to privacy and therefore digital rights demand data protection for online users and unnecessary surveillance from the state.
The approval of the National Cyber Security Policy will protect and enhance Zambia’s democracy as free expression and access to information are the lifeblood of democracy,Ms. Mwale.
She added that the Policy must be used to develop legislation that strengthens citizen participation to enable them hold duty bearers accountable and participate in the governance of their country.
Ms. Mwale has however warned against the abuse or misapplication of the policy to develop legislation that would hinder the enjoyment of fundamental freedoms by citizens in the country.
Meanwhile, Bloggers of Zambia Chief Executive Officer Richard Mulonga has also commended cabinet on the approval of the National Cyber Security policy, but has cautioned that the policy must not infringe citizens online freedom.
In as much as the internet legislation will make the online spaces safe there is also need to ensure that these laws and policies are democratic,Mr. Mulonga.
He has therefore called upon all Zambians to engage in meaningful conversations that add value to democracy and avoid spreading harmful content that can disrupt societal norms and standards.