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Critics wary of Kenya’s new cybercrime law

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday signed a new law that outlaws the abuse of people on social media.

Critics say the law could be exploited to repress civil liberties.

Proponents of the law, including the legislators who pushed it through parliament, say the proliferation of social media has given rise to new crimes including online scams, which were not covered by previous laws.

New York-based media rights watchdog the Committee to Protect Journalists warned last week however that the bill could criminalize free speech.

The law lays the ground for investigation and prosecution of computer and cybercrimes including cyberharassment and “publication of false information”.

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