In May 2015, ARTICLE 19 analysed the Tanzanian Cybercrimes Act 2015 (the Act). The Act, adopted on 1 April 2015, has drawn much criticism from political opposition inside the country as well as from national and international human rights groups. As a result, the government of Tanzania has committed to revising the Act before the end of this Parliamentary session.
ARTICLE 19 welcomes the announcement of this review process. This analysis has been prepared with a view to assisting the government with its revision of the Act to ensure that it fully complies with international standards on freedom of expression.
Our analysis has identified a number of areas of serious concern from an international law perspective. Our concerns lie not only in relation to content and computer-related offences but also in relation to the lack of adequate procedural safeguards, the Act’s disproportionate and inflexible sanctions regime, and the conveyance of excessive powers to police forces to conduct search and seizure operations without judicial oversight, amongst others.