Kerri Crawford (SA)

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Responses to comments on Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has published responses to the public comments received on the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill, which was tabled in parliament in February 2017. The lengthy responses are available here. See our previous post on the major changes to the original draft published for public comment in August 2015. Several … Continue reading

POPI regulations published for comment

The Information Regulator published draft regulations under the Protection of Personal Information Act 2013 (POPI) for public comment by 7 November 2017. The regulations cover various procedural items, including: the manner of objecting to the processing of personal information; requests for correction or deletion of personal information; the application form for industry codes of conduct; … Continue reading

Petya or NotPetya – under POPI you must report

Barely recovering from the WannaCry ransomware attack, many across the globe now have to deal with the latest ransomware attack, NotPetya. Originally thought of to be the Petya ransomware for making money, security analysts quickly realised that the current cyber-attack was not designed to make money. It appears that NotPetya has actually just been designed … Continue reading

Unblocking the blockchain

Blockchain is the latest buzzword in the FinTech world. This technology on which the Bitcoin network is built has the potential for numerous applications in the financial services and other industries, including smart contracts, clearing and settlement, trade finance, micro-lending and supply chain management. What is a blockchain? A blockchain is a public ledger or … Continue reading

Is Bitcoin legal?

Because of the anonymity associated with Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies and their role in illicit transactions on the Dark Net (a hidden part of the internet that is not accessible through normal browsers and search engines), public perception is often suspicious or at least cautious. However, the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is … Continue reading

Taking security over cryptocurrencies

Many creditors require some form of security to be given by their debtors to ensure the payment of a debt. The creditor acquires a right over property of the debtor which may be exercised if the debt is not paid. One of the most common examples is a mortgage bond over immovable property in favour … Continue reading

Can you be sued over Bitcoin?

South African courts have yet to deal with a case involving Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. But the fact that cryptocurrencies remain largely unregulated in most jurisdictions does not place cryptocurrency disputes beyond the reach of the courts. Globally, most litigation has related to insolvency, fraud and breach of contract. In 2014, Japanese Bitcoin exchange MtGox … Continue reading

Hacked private messages used in court

The high court has ruled that a civil litigant’s private Facebook messages, which were unlawfully obtained by the hacking of his personal account, were nevertheless admissible as evidence against him. In Harvey v Niland, the litigants were members of the same corporation.  Niland was also an employee of the corporation.  After leaving his employment on bad terms, … Continue reading

Can you be traced through your internet activity?

Each device which accesses the internet is allocated a unique number (Internet Protocol or IP address) by its internet service provider (ISP). A record is created each time this IP address accesses a webpage, including the date, time and URL (website address) accessed. These records are stored by the ISP. ISPs are prohibited from providing … Continue reading

Taking cybercrime seriously: new offences in the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill

The Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill expands on the original sections of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 2002 (ECTA). The creation of 20 new cybercrime offences illustrates the extent to which technology is being used for unlawful purposes and the need to protect yourself in your activities online. Existing cyber crimes There are currently only … Continue reading

Is Bitcoin money?

Cryptocurrencies are unregulated in most jurisdictions and their legal nature has not yet been determined by legislation or case law. Virtual or digital currencies display certain key features of money: They represent value and some (like Bitcoin) can be purchased or exchanged for a real currency equivalent. They can be used to make payment for … Continue reading

Can Bitcoin be insured?

As the use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin increases, so will the demand for insurance to protect against the risks associated with them. A number of global Bitcoin storage providers offer their customers insurance for storage vault failure. At least one US insurance group offers Bitcoin holdings insurance as an endorsement to existing crime policies. Given … Continue reading

Deciphering cryptocurrencies

The use of and interest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have grown substantially. In the 24 hours from 1 to 2 June 2015, 130 632 Bitcoin transactions occurred globally with a total value of ZAR 611 321 864.85 (or USD 59 079 000.24 at exchange rates of USD 1 to ZAR 12.21). What is a cryptocurrency? A … Continue reading

3 reasons why POPI is good for South Africa

We often hear complaints about the additional red tape that compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (POPI) will impose on business. Although compliance will be a continual process, it should not be viewed as an impractical or overly burdensome task. POPI is not aimed at restricting business and should be applied practically. … Continue reading
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