Three legislations targeting cyber security are currently awaiting cabinet approval before being brought to Parliament for debate, Minister for Communication, Science and Technology, Prof Makame Mbarawa, has said.
Prof Mbarawa made the revelation in Dar es Salaam when launching Higher Education and Research Institutions Network (HERIN) aimed at linking them to the internet and exchange information amongst them.
The legislations include Computer Security, Electronic Transaction and Data Protection Act with the purpose of protecting information and its infrastructure assets against the risks of loss, misuse, disclosure or damage.
Once passed in the near future, this would be the first time specific legislations have been put in place to regulate those particular areas.
"Information age has turned information to be a precious resource thus the area is worth legal safeguards," he said.
The minister added that the legislation will protect users from hackers or those defrauding the IT system and they will be punished accordingly.
Speaking about HERIN, he said that it is obvious that ICT has assumed control of daily operations of modern society and has a key role to prepare future experts for the nation.
He went on and urged students and teachers to use the network for academic purposes only instead of misusing it by visiting restricted sites which adds nothing to their lives.
"We have to make sure that ICT does not lead to moral decay but should be a driving force towards development as other countries did," elaborated Prof Mbarawa.
The project has been implemented in partnership with the World Bank as the bank continued to lend support to Tanzania in assisting higher education and research institutions through Science and Technology Higher Education Programme (STHEP) which commenced in 2006.
The first phase of the project aims at connecting 28 institutions to the National ICT Broadband Backbone (NICTBB). The total project cost is 4.6bn/- and it is anticipated that the remaining more than 100 institutions shall be connected.
HERIN project consultant, Mr Emmanuel Nagunwa, said that among the benefits of the network were to enhance sharing of academic information and resources.
"Though the network will assist a lot but it is crucial to develop policy and regulations which allow e-learning and elibrary for the network to have positive outcomes," said Mr Nagunwa.
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