The South African parliament has passed a new bill seeking to regulate how users share nudes and other intimate contents on the Facebook-owned instant messaging app, WhatsApp.
The bill which made it clear that sending of intimate content which can be seen as harmful without the subject’s consent has been criminalised, also allows the personal data of WhatsApp users to be subjected to scrutiny by both the law enforcement agencies and the electronic communications service providers and financial institutions which have been tasked to monitor such cyber crimes on the instant messaging app.
It also stipulates that any person, be it on WhatsApp, Facebook or Twitter, who discloses a data message to a single person, group of persons, or the public with the intention to incite damage or violence is guilty of an offence. This include sharing of porn videos and images – that do not belong you, or rather, that do not have you as the participant in the imagery is a criminal offense.
The controversial laws which is a part of the Cybercrimes Bill was mooted in 2017 and was passed on December 2 is said to only be awaiting the President’s approval.