The new law has stipulations that would severely punish bloggers like Cyprian Nyakundi. The law provides for offences relating to computer systems, to enable timely and effective detection, investigation and prosecution of computer and cybercrimes; to facilitate international cooperation in dealing with computer and cybercrime and for related purposes.
False Publications is one of the most serious offences. The Act provides that one who intentionally publishes false data or misinforms, intending data shall be considered or acted upon as authentic, with or without any financial gain, will be liable to a fine or imprisonment.
This will affect media houses publishing unsubstantiated stories, bloggers notorious for publishing stories with questionable facts. The down side is once one is perceived to have committed the offence, they will have to prove veracity of the story in court.
This offence originated in the spread of fake stories and click bait during the election period. It was not included in the first draft, it was introduced in the 2017 Bill.
This offence specifically talks about knowingly publishing or broadcasting false information calculated to cause chaos, panic, discredit the image or reputation of a person.
It covers broadcasters, online publishers, etc. Online publishing includes updates on social media. The penalty is Sh5 million, 10 years in jail or both.
Failing to reverse an M-Pesa transaction done by mistake will see Kenyans pay a Sh200,000 fine or be jailed for two years, or both.
Section 34 of the Act targets those who intentionally hide or hold electronic messages, electronic payments, credit and debit card details sent in error.
Section 36 states that a person who unlawfully destroys or aborts any electronic email or processes through which money or information is being conveyed commits an offence.
The law also states that inducing any person in charge of electronic devices to deliver any electronic messages not specifically meant for someone is an offence.
Last year, a woman was jailed in Embu for six months for using Sh27,140 that was accidentally sent to her M-Pesa account.
Margaret Njeri was unable to pay the Sh40,000 fine for the offence and was taken to Embu prison to serve the sentence.