At the very dawn of social media activism, this scrupulous admin and its janja-wits decide to pass the Computer Misuse and Cyber Law. Truth be told, as a country we have been badly hit by the Cyber Attack Plagues amounting to a silly staggering loss of 171Billion from governments firms and telecommunications. If you decide to be myopic about this shell law, you will hail the Jubilee administration for curbing the losses. That would mean, you have taken up the general assumption that this law actually shelters us economically from cyberattacks. As per the Cyber Law standards, the law has clauses that are too general with no technical know-how. Some of the key institutions exposed to the very risk of these attacks. If you perused through the United States Cyber Law which is celebrated as one of the most robust you will realize that data has been given key precedence.
Bruce Schneier, founder of Cupertino’s Counterpane Internet Security once argued that despite the efforts by the US government to curb the vice at its roots, these attacks to government institutions are inevitable. This uncovers the shell that is Computer Misuse and Cyber Law. Most institutions are far from digitization based on the numerous paperwork and the basic-legacy systems on toll. If you noticed most of the jobs in the market previously never required basic computer skills until the recent technological advancement. Even though most institutions have a corner secluded office with two or three chaps as the ICT department. That even with Cisco advancing at an amazing rate, we still have offices with TP Links as their networks. The security threats our institutions are open to are beyond general clauses citing Cyber Attacks.
The Computer Misuse and Cyber Law however is just a shell that seeks to stop the vile Kenyans are spewing on social media. Kenyans on social media are like an over speeding bus that is sweeping everything on its way be it the morally inappropriate government officials, or broken restaurants operators who kick out women for breast feeding in public and what have you. The carnage that social media has caused politically in Kenya is undeniably surmountable and at this pace, vigilantes behind the keyboards will take down the system. The system must fight back. However, wounded it seems, it is fighting back atrociously.
Social media activism has brought down corporations, instigated criminals and flopped a whole presidential campaign. This reveals what a powerful tool social media is, and if harnessed to the right direction the infinite possibilities it unlocks. For a country that once suffered under dictatorial rule, we have come to appreciate the kind of freedom social media endows us. As Kenyans, social media is how we express ourselves, the medium for us to air our views, satisfaction and anger on how our leaders are robbing us dry. We get to scream for accountability, because the keyboard gives us the power to speak without fear. It gives us the courage to fight for the voiceless, it gives us the platform to shun what we don’t like and hail what we love.
Apart from the trolls and the cyber bullying, we have social media to turn to. We all agree that last year’s elections were a turbulent wave that rocked our ship. Democratically, we have been disrespected, insulted and mocked and so we put our hearts in the game and took to social media. If you scrolled through your feeds and your timelines, you must have found yourself at a bitter exchange with an ‘opponent’ or probably called out your leader on an issue or two. This basically means, as long as you own a social media account you are at risk of attracting a minimum fine of at least 5M and in the possible event that you are an IT-savvy you are prone to attracting a fine of 20M for sticky-fingers. Ey, leave people’s systems alone though!
Whether the law was a coffee-chatter about the vile Kenyans spew on social media against their leaders or the lethal rampage on Kilimani Mums and Group Kenya by the moral police, we should fight back with much might we can. Beacause if we let this law win means, we are allowing the infringement on our freedom of expression. We have come so far as a democracy to start shying away from our flaws, our misdoings and our shortcomings by gagging the voter.