Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra), through the Malawi Computer Emergency Response Team (MwCERT), says is has noted with concern the rapid spread and distribution of fake news and information related to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) being posted on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.
MwCERT notes that personal details of Covid-19 victims are being shared and distributed without the authorization of the people affected, saying this is a violation of the right to privacy under Section 21 (c) of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi.
“In addition, it is also an offence under Section 84(8)(a) of the Electronic Transactions and Cybersecurity Act, 2016, which prohibits the communication, disclosure and transmission of personal data without authorization from the data subject.
“The public is, therefore, advised to refrain from committing these acts as such conduct may attract serious legal sanctions,” says the strong message from MwCERT.
MwCERT then asks the public to “beware of Coronavirus-themed phishing emails as Cybecriminals are exploiting the Coronavirus outbreak to send fake emails with dangerous links”.
It also warns people from clicking on links in unsolicited emails and attachments related to COVID-19 and to “use trusted sources such as legitimate, Government websites for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19”.
“Refrain from revealing personal or financial information related to COVID-19 victims [and] desist from sharing any unverified details on the Coronavirus.
“Be cautious of online advertisements selling hygienic products such as masks, hand sanitizers and other products.”
Phone number is 01 810 497; Fax on 01 811 911 while postal reporting should be channeled to: Director General, MACRA, Private Bag 261, Blantyre.
Physical reporting can be done at MACRA House, Salmin Amour Road, Ginnery Corner, Blantyre.
The Special Cabinet Committee on Covid-19, that is chaired by Minister of Health Jappie Mhango, also warns the public from spreading any unofficial information on the pandemic through social media, saying this might create fear and panic.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :