A new bill passed by the South African parliament is seeking to regulate how users share nudes and other intimate contents on the Facebook-owned instant messaging app, WhatsApp.
The bill which was mooted in 2017 and has undergone a lot of changes, criminalizes revenge porn and cracks down on some cyber crimes associated with the instant messaging application.
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 offence.
The bill which was passed on December 2, is now awaiting the President’s approval.