South Africa lays down the law on cybercrime

Karen Allen writes:

A new law brings South Africa up to international standards for fighting cybercrime. […]  Together with the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act 2020, which will be in full effect after 30 June 2021, the new cyber law is a key part of South Africa’s armoury in the fight against cybercrime.


In summary, cybercrime is now defined as including, but not limited to, acts such as: the unlawful access to a computer or device such as a USB drive or an external hard drive; the illegal interception of data; the unlawful acquisition, possession, receipt or use of a password; and forgery, fraud and extortion online. Malicious communications are also criminalised.

The act also sets out the scope and mechanisms by which investigators can search and seize computer hardware, software and other items such as USB keys or storage devices. It describes how the South African authorities should conduct international investigations and how evidence must be collected, shared and preserved for future prosecutions.

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