President Kenyatta signs the Computer misuse and Cybercrime bill into law

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The country has been grappling over fake news control due to an existing lacuna in the law which has since been sealed.

Proponents of the law, including the legislators who pushed it through parliament, say the proliferation of social media has given rise to new crimes including online scams, which were not covered by previous laws. Such offences could land a culprit in jail for a term of not more than 10 years or be slapped with a Ksh.20 million fine or both.

If found guilty, they may attract punishment of 2-years in prison and cash fine of shs5million. The law also targets those who alter information through Photoshop.

The objective of the Bill is to "protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer systems, programs and data", "prevent the unlawful use of computer systems", "facilitate the investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes", and "facilitate global co-operation on matters".

It also deals with computer forgery, computer fraud, cyber harassment, publication of false information, cybersquatting, identity theft and impersonation, phishing, interception of electronic messages or money transfers, willful misdirection of electronic messages and fraudulent use of electronic data among other cyber crimes.

Duale's ex-lover Nazlin Umar slams Uhuru over cybercrime laws terms them dictatorial
Uhuru recently assented to the Cybercrimes bill

New York-based media rights watchdog the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) warned last week however that the bill could criminalize free speech, "with journalists and bloggers likely to be among the first victims if it is signed into law".

President Uhuru Kenyatta in a past event.

Under the new law, sharing pornographic images and videos on the social media will attract a maximum fine of Sh300,000 or 30 years in prison or both.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, DP William Ruto, Aden Duale and others at State House on May, 16, 2018.