Computer Society of Zambia (CSZ) President and IT Lecturer Milner Makuni last week told a meeting of E-Brain that far too few people were aware of the implications of the Computer Misuse and Cyber Crime Bill, writes News Update Zambian correspondent Timothy Kasolo.

He pointed out that the draft is divided into different parts namely the data protection, and the misuse of computers.

Under the data protection bill Makuni observed that a lot people take advantage of the computers by commiting different crimes and fraud.

"A lot of people take advantage of the of using computers and commit different types of crimes and fraud, therefore there is need to harmonise existing laws so that they do not conflict with the laws that comes into being," Makuni explained.

He said that the Data Protection Act would be an eye opener for the computer users in Zambia. The Bill specifies that access in relation to any computer system, means instruct, communicate with, store data in, retrieve data from, or otherwise make use of any of the resources of the computer system.

The drafted bill specifies a range of different offences. One of the offences is unauthorised access to computer data that any person who causes a computer system to perform a function, knowing that the access he intends to secure is unauthorized, shall commit an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding USD435 and to penal servitude not exceeding 5 years.

The second offence is that of Access with intent to commit offences where Any person who causes a computer system to perform any function for the purpose of securing access to any program or data held in any computer system, with intent to commit an offence under any other enactment, shall commit an offence and shall, on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding USD2300 and to penal servitude for a term not exceeding 20 years.

Unauthorized access to and interception of computer service, any person who, by any means, knowingly secures access to any computer system for the purpose of obtaining, directly or indirectly, any computer service;

Other offences include unauthorised modification of computer material, damaging or denying access to computer system, unlawful possession of devices and data Electronic fraud of which the above offences have it specific penalties.

Makuni in his presentation said that the last part of the draft covers investigation and production and procedures.

Early this year the government of Zambia (through the Ministry of Legal Affairs proposed that a Bill should be passed that will look at computer misuse and the protection of fraud from banks. Legal affairs Minister and Attorney General George Kunda said that the bill will be passed through parliament later this year.