Concerns Raised About New PNG Cyber Crime Laws

Social media personality: laws are much needed, but vague language could be used by state to constrict freedom of expression

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 12, 2016) – A prominent blogger and social media personality in Papua New Guinea says he's concerned new cyber-security laws could lead to a crackdown on freedom of expression.

Parliament on Thursday passed the Cybercrime Bill, which seeks to control things like spam, hacking, forgery and computer fraud.

Martyn Namorong, the author of the Namorong Report, said such laws were very much needed in Papua New Guinea.

However, he said the law had concerning elements, including a section with vague references to "defamation" and "underming the state."

Mr Namorong said this could potentially be used to quash criticism of the government.

"You use social media to talk about protesting, for instance. Is that undermining the state or undermining the government? You know, where does it stop in a democratic society like PNG wants to be?," he asked.

"I mean the rest of the stuff that's in the law, they need to be there. But the other stuff that could potentially prevent community organising is, yeah, it's really quite scary."

Radio New Zealand International
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