It is looking like the new Bahrain CyberCrime law is going to set the demographic bar for those Hackers and Hacktivists who are found to be culpable of an act, and they could be looking forward to 10 years imprisonment, and fines up to BD300,000 [$795,714]. This new law is described as the first of its kind to be introduced in the Arab World as an ‘Information Technology Bill’ which has already received approval from Parliament, and is expected to be implemented post obtaining the right to pass from the Shoura Council.
As one would expect the penalties which could be imposed are in respect of obtaining unauthorised access to computer system(s), hacking into networks, and of course where there is culpable intent, acts to destroy or to damage information assets, which could, in some cases see the imposition of three years in prison or a fine of BD50,000, or both. However it is expected that the level of imprisonment will increase to seven years and BD300,000 fine, or both if the offence is found to be Serious –whatever the measure of serious is of course! This new legislation also encompasses any act which intentionally threatens public safety, tampers with medical reports or leads to people’s deaths.
The Shura Council foreign affairs, defence and national security committee chairman Dr Shaikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said in an interview with the Gulf Daily News that CyberCrime was on the rise and this act was in response to the potential imposed dangers. He then commented that “There are large numbers of crimes, mainly financial, using the Internet, and according to information provided by the Central Bank of Bahrain, there are 17,000 financial crimes committed per second worldwide using computer systems and programmes,”. Al Khalifa added that this law had been delayed for more than two years because “we wanted something strong that matches developments in criminology and even when the law gets approved it will require continuous updates through amendments”.
This is yet another example of just how serious the threat of CyberCrime is considered, and an excellent example of an initiative that is imposing new legislations to help counter, and to respond to the scourge of Cyber Criminality – Well done Bahrain.