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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Information Ministry Holds Stakeholders Consultation On Proposed Cyber Security Bill

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By Bampia James Bundu:
Strategic Communications Unit,
Ministry of Information and Communications

The Ministry of Information and Communications on Thursday, 30th July 2020 concluded a one-day Stakeholders Consultative Forum on the proposed Cyber Security Bill at the Country Lodge in Freetown.

The Chairperson of the program, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Madam Mamadi Gobeh-Kamara,
underscored the significance of the Cyber Crime Bill, saying it touches on almost all aspects of transactions and activities involving the Cyberspace.

While maintaining that every action and reaction in the Cyberspace has some legal and Cyber angles, she noted that the forum gave stakeholders the opportunity to evaluate the draft bill before it is deliberated on by Parliament.

She appealed to all present to treat the proposed bill with the seriousness it deserved.

Speaking on behalf of the Leader of Government Business in Parliament, a member of the Information and Communications Committee, Hon Boston Munda, expressed profound thanks and appreciation to the Minister of Information and his team for putting together such a wonderful document and also organizing the consultative and validation forum.

He assured that as a member of the Committee on information and Communications, they will give the necessary support to the ministry for the proposed bill to become law.

Speaking on behalf of the main opposition APC, Hon Abdul Kargbo pledged their commitment to ensuring that the document is given the required attention once it is brought before them in Parliament, calling for it to be in tandem with other Cyber laws in the sub-region.

In her address, the Chairperson of NATCOM, Madam Madiana Samba, expressed appreciation to the Minister of Information and his team for their effort in ensuring that there is sanity in the Cyberspace.

She stated that the issues of Cyber Security and Cyber Crime are treated seriously globally and stressed that it is very important as a nation to have a law that will regulate Cyber issues.

Madam Samba appealed to stakeholders to go through the proposed bill line by line and make their inputs so that it can stand the test of time once enacted into law.

“The significance of this national engagement is to set standards and controls to govern the actions of people in private and public. It is also aimed at addressing the issues that affect order & good governance,” she maintained.

In his keynote address, the Honourable Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray, said the stakeholders consultative meeting sought to build a consensus on the draft Cyber Security Bill which the ministry had worked with the Office of the Attorney
General and the Law Officers Department to draft.

He urged the stakeholders present to fearlessly
debate the proposed bill and ask the tough, right questions that will enrich the debate and enhance
the potency of the proposed law to address current and emerging challenges facing the country in the Cyberspace.

Minister Swaray entreated all to join efforts by his ministry towards enacting the proposed bill in Parliament.

A Power Point presentation of the draft Cyber Security Bill was done by the Director of Communications in the Ministry of Information and Communications, Mohamed M. Jalloh, followed by discussions before drawing down the curtains to end the fruitful one-day engagement.

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