Niger Strengthens Cybercrime Law to Combat Online Threats

By : Samira Njoya

Date : lundi, 17 juin 2024 10:52

Cybercrime is posing a growing threat across Africa, as the continent's rapid digitalization outpaces its cybersecurity preparedness. This vulnerability exposes nations to a range of attacks, from data breaches and financial fraud to more sophisticated assaults on critical infrastructure.

The Nigerien government announced on Wednesday a new ordinance amending Law No. 2019-33 on the repression of cybercrime.

The new ordinance aims to curb the spread of disinformation and online threats , seeking to "strike a balance between freedom of expression and the protection of individual rights, while preserving public peace and security," according to the Ministry of Justice.

Promulgated earlier this month by President Abdourahamane Tiani of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland in Niger, the updated legislation strengthens sanctions for online offenses. Disseminating content that disrupts public order or violates human dignity now carries a potential sentence of two to five years in prison and a fine ranging from two to five million CFA francs (approximately €3,000 to €7,600). Defamation and electronic insults can result in one to three years imprisonment and a similar fine.

Niger, like many African nations, faces a growing problem of cybercrime. During the Digital Week held from April 18 to 20, special emphasis was placed on cybersecurity. On this occasion, the Minister of Communication, Posts, and Digital Economy, Sidi Mohamed Raliou, unveiled the government's ambitions, including the establishment of a National Cybersecurity Center.

By toughening the legislation, the Nigerien government hopes to effectively combat the spread of false information, hate speech, and content inciting violence. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to enhance digital security and protect citizens from growing cyber threats.

Samira Njoya


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