Module 7: Cybercrimes
Summary Modules on Digital Rights and Freedom of Expression Online in sub-Saharan Africa
- As access to the internet continues to grow rapidly in Africa, cybercrimes are becoming ever more prevalent and dangerous.
- However, laws which regulate criminal activity on the internet are increasingly providing tools for the state to suppress dissent and the media.
- The African Union (AU) has encouraged a harmonised, continent-wide approach to tackling cybercrimes in Africa, but the AU Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data (Malabo Convention) has not yet achieved widespread adoption, limiting its efficacy.
- Despite the limited adoption of the Malabo Convention, data privacy is starting to attract more widespread attention across the continent, with many countries recently passing new data protection acts.
- Concerningly, many cybercrimes have a particularly gendered nature, such as cyberstalking and and the non-consensual sharing of intimate images (NCII).
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- There are, however, various practical steps that can be taken to address online harms, and ensure that fundamental rights are equally protected both off- and online.