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Bill proposes Sh20 million fine for sharing adult content

KENYA
By Roselyne Obala | March 2nd 2021

Garissa Town MP Aden Duale [File, Standard]

If you consume or trade in adult content, your days are numbered.

It could soon be a crime to publish adult content and terror information on the internet targeting the youth and underage if the draft Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes (Amendment), 2020 Bill is approved by Parliament.

The Bill sponsored by Garissa Town MP Adan Duale, is due for publication by Parliament and seeks to address the issue of moral decay among young people following the liberalization of the internet.

A proposal in the Bill says offenders should pay a Sh20million fine or imprisonment not exceeding 25 years or both. “A person who contravenes the same, commits an offense and is liable, on conviction to a fine not exceeding Sh20million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 25 years, or both,” reads the Bill.

What the Bill prohibits

The proposal also seeks to prohibit young people from accessing extremists’ groups or terror sites that will cause them to join or participate in unlicensed and extreme religious or cult activities.

Additionally, it seeks to restrict sites that are likely to cause persons to commit suicide or any harm to themselves.

In this case, adult content includes any data whether visual or audio that depicts a person engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The proposed law wants possession of adult content restricted to people of a certain age.

It will also be an offence if a person knowingly produces adult content or promotes it, or circulates content that promotes terrorism.

“A person who publishes or transmits electronic messages that are likely to cause other person to join or participate in terrorist activities, commits an offense and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding Sh5million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or both,” reads the Bill.

Defense

The Bill however gives a window for defense if it is for the good of the public.

“It shall be a defense to a charge for an offence where a publication is proved to be justified as being for the public good on the grounds that the book, pamphlet, paper, writing, drawing, painting, art, representation or figure is in the interest of science, literature, learning or other objects of general concerns,” it reads.

According to Duale, the proposed law will be popular among religious groups as it seeks to protect young people from immoral exposure.

“Countries like Dubai and China have restricted these sites denying users of certain age access through phones and computers,” explained the former National Majority leader.

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