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Cyber Security Act restores sanity in cyberspace, but rural understanding lags, says FODEP (Video)


The Cyber Security Act has played a crucial role in restoring sanity and fostering accountability among cyberspace users, according to the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) in Northern Province.

FODEP Provincial Coordinator, Michael Bwalya, stated that some individuals had been exploiting cyberspace to spread alarm and defame public figures, including the Head of State.

Bwalya, speaking to Zambia Monitor in Kasama, highlighted instances where users had fallen victim to blackmail by scammers on cyberspace, suggesting the need for further tightening of the law to address such incidents.

“The Cyber Security Act is beneficial because it aims to hold individuals accountable for the messages they disseminate. At times, these messages can incite unrest or opposition against the government,” he said.

However, Bwalya noted that most people did not seek violence against the government but rather wished to express their grievances and advocate for developmental change.

He pointed out a lack of understanding of the Cyber Security Act, especially in rural areas, where many individuals primarily view cyberspace as a means for leaders to engage with them.

“Cyber Security remains a mystery to many rural residents. Their main concern is that their leaders remain accessible to them,” Bwalya remarked.

Read More:Chisenga calls for end to election-related media harassment, votes for patriotism

He cited topics such as social cash transfers, Constituency Development Fund and agricultural inputs as the primary focus of discussion among rural dwellers, with less emphasis on cyberspace engagement.

While acknowledging the positive impact of the law in restoring order to cyberspace, Bwalya cautioned against its misuse to suppress media freedom, particularly journalists reporting on political matters.

“Although citizens and the media enjoy relative freedom, journalists are sometimes unfairly labeled as political actors for their coverage of certain political parties,” he stated.

Bwalya identified political intimidation as a significant obstacle to media freedom in the country and called for efforts to ensure journalists can exercise their human rights without fear.

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