Wednesday , 6 July 2022
The hacking - official version term - of the Foreign Affairs Department's website, which recently led to the issue of a fake authorization to recover home soil for former president Marc Ravalomanana, did actually not prove a large enough scoop to highlight the fact that Madagascar now issued a law against computer crime. The act establishes penalties as harsh as a 10 years imprisonment sentence plus a Ar 100 million high fine. Loging in with password not one's own, facebooking or simply reacting on online forums are all ordinary things which Madagascans might eventually have to pay dearly.

Laws against computer crime: big big figures as deterrent

According to this act, cybercrime refers to any crime that involves a computer and a network, to any offense inflicted with the use of a computer or any other information network system. The concerned offence may include the unjustified and/or unauthorized access to a restricted virtual area, as well presence and/or conduction of activities without legitimate justification and/or authorization. Anyone found guilty of fraudulent access to or presence or activity in a restricted information system may expect a fine ranging from 100,000 to 10,000,000 MGA. Had the aforesaid access / presence / activity eventually caused damage, modification or loss of data, the aforesaid fine might be added up to a jail sentence ranging from six months to five years.

As for unauthorized manipulations, namely damaging, deleting, deteriorating or altering computer data, the unauthorized manipulation of computer programs, and the voluntary introduction of damaged computing data for legal purposes as if it is they perfectly safe, the penalty is a jail sentence ranging from 2 to 10 years plus a fine ranging from 2 million 100 million Ariary. The hacking of the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s website, an enforcement officially labeled as obstruction or alteration of an information system’ sector, is encompassed by the latest type of offense

Personally targeted offense

Malagasy law against computing crime refers to the commission of any offense through the use of any type of computing or electronic device. In case of noticeable physical attempt, any anonymous written or signed message, picture, symbol, used to utter a threat of murder or other forms of attack related to the aforesaid attempt, would be punished with forced labor or eventually death sentence, plus a jail time ranging from six months to five years, plus a fine ranging from 100 000 to 540 000 ariary.

Identity theft leading to harm individuals of groups of individuals is punished with jail time ranging from 6 months to 10 years plus up to 18 million ariary in fine. Slandering committed through the use of electronic or computing devices will be sanctioned with jail sentences potentially ranging from 2 to 5 years plus fines ranging from 2 million-100 million Ariary fine. The retaliation may be expected to be particularly severe, could public administration departments, armed forces, courts, government members, parliament members, civil servants be at the receiving end of computing offense… unrecognized websites as news media delighted with inflammatory contents against the ruling power, ye be warned!

Insults would be paid 100,000 Ariary up 10 million Ariary or with a mere jail time ranging from 6 months to 5 years if the wrongdoing had not been preceded with bullying. If the insult comes up to harassment directing blasphemy and derogatory comments at specific individuals focusing for example on gender, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, country, the punishment will be harsher. A 2-10 years in prison and a fine of 2 million to 100 million ariary await. Holocaust denial is punishable with a jail time ranging from 6 months to 5 years plus an up to 10 million Ariary high fine. Some of the strongest efforts are directed against child pornography, including the simple fact of regularly check pictures. A jail sentence of 2 to 5 years and a fine of 2 million to 10 million Ariary are the rewards to such obscenity. Paying court to underage individuals is no exception, and may lead to 10 years time behind bars if the physical date ever comes true. Shooting, transporting and distributing pornography is basically as prohibited the upload of violent, racist and xenophobic messages, and punished with a jail time ranging from 2 to 5 years in plus 10 to 20 million Ariary in fine.