ICT Act 2001 & Public Safety

September 7, 2015

I read the following on lexpress.mu this afternoon:

"Il est prévu que des poursuites soient engagées contre ceux qui enfreignent l’ICTA Act de 2001. Ceux-là risquent une peine d’emprisonnement ne dépassant pas cinq ans et une amende de pas plus de Rs 1 million."

The above was published in a context where fake profiles on Facebook are used to post “hate messages” toward religions and inciting public disorder. Somehow people on the social networks do not realise the seriousness of their actions on the internet. The clause from the ICT Act 2001 that describes the offender is Section 46(h)(iii). It reads as follows:

Any person who uses an information and communication service, including telecommunication service for the transmission of a message which of a nature likely to endanger or compromise State defence, public safety or public order.

At the moment, a lot of people are writing “hate comments” on Facebook which can provoke racial outrage. While people might think a Facebook comment would be untraceable or might be harmless, well, if convicted under the above clause, one may be fined up to Rs 1 million or face five years of imprisonment.

ICT Act 2001

I see young folks react emotionally towards "unconfirmed" posts on social networks. It is my humble request that internet users assume their responsibility to stop the spread of this "online hate" and let the law enforcement officers carry on with their duty & investigation properly.