Liberia: Internet Users Protest Against Non-Passage of Cybersecurity Law

Dozens of internet users who participated in a three-week Internet Society Liberia School of Governance training unanimously agreed to stage a peaceful march/protest at the National Legislative Assembly to demand clarification on the delay in the adoption of the law on cybersecurity, which has been submitted to this august body since 2016.

Cyber laws are laws that provide legal protection to internet users against a host of complexities and legal issues that emerge from time to time. The ever-expanding cyberspace has further given way to the specialized branch of law known as cyber law, which offers cyber protection to every industry and organization.

According to the group of young Liberians and IT specialists, it is very regrettable that the Legislative Assembly and policymakers are slow to pass relevant documents such as the Cyber Security Act, which protects the country and every internet user against cybercrime and all those responsible for any action thereof.

We will have to go to the Legislative Assembly again to find out the status of the cybersecurity law that we have drafted with the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. We need to pass this law so that we can be protected online and also create more jobs for Liberians in the ICT sector. We will not rest until this law is passed, because it is freedom that will hold internet cybersecurity hackers accountable for whatever they do to us ,” they noted.

The Internet Society Liberia Chapter over the weekend culminated the third edition of the Liberia School of Internet Governance (LSIG). The theme of the program was “ Connecting People and Protecting Human Rights in Liberia ”.

Speaking in an interview with reporters at the end of the training at a local hotel in Monrovia on Friday, August 27, 2022, and also expanding on the decisions, Matthew Roberts, President of the Liberia Chapter of the Internet Society, said that the passage of the Cybersecurity Act is critical as it was aimed at creating more job opportunities for Liberians and protecting the country in the digital space.

According to Roberts, the law, if passed, will prevent people from hacking because if someone is caught, they could be prosecuted and imprisoned because the country would have laws to prosecute cybercriminals and cybercrime. He added that currently Liberia is vulnerable in the digital space. " We can't prosecute hackers because we don't have any cybersecurity laws to do so ," he said.

People are not held accountable for their actions nor prosecuted under our law for cybercrimes because we have no law. Liberia is vulnerable in the digital space because there is no law to protect the rights of citizens and internet users in the country. We have human trafficking that is done through the internet, data protection, hacking and other sensitive things that this law will prohibit ," he revealed.

Roberts revealed that there was an affair between Lonestar Cell MTN and then Cellcom GSM: Cellcom was accused of shutting down and hacking into Lonestar's system to get more customers, and it was done by a Briton. " We didn't prosecute the person because there is no law ," he said.

He also named the illegal transfer and theft of data by Facebook, Google and other social media platforms but Liberia cannot act as we have no law under which we can prosecute them.

Sometimes you hear that Facebook and Google are being sued in other countries because of this cybersecurity law and data protection law, and that can happen in Liberia. We need the law to act so that our rights are respected. We need to create more jobs by watching the digital space to monitor outbound piracy in our country and get people sued, ” he noted.

Source : Hot Pepper