Dear Editor,

My colleagues have never quite understood how I have remained stubbornly ‘incomputerate’.  Neither have the current generations of laptop users with whom I have had to interact in recent times. In the process however, I have been overwhelmed with the splurge of sub-literacy that persistently bypasses the spell check mechanism, and must wonder about the reason for this apparent technological constipation.

It is in this remote connection that one reads of the range of informed interpretations about the ill effects of the proposed Cyber Crime Bill.

Without entering into any details about the varied arguments, it occurred to me (with tongue in cheek), whether any account should be taken of the splurge of (il) literacy levels which exist across websites (and other sites) into which authors might stumble upon words that may be deemed offensive in terms of the relevant provisions of the Bill, without their knowing or intending to be so in any way.

For it would seem that on a wider scale of literacy, it is the very construct of certain provisions of the Bill that makes it so questionable.

Heck! But who will arrogate authority to evaluate literacy or otherwise as an element of offensiveness?

In the following order who would it be as specialist interpreter:

a Ministry of Technology (?)

a Ministry of Education

a Ministry of Social Cohesion

a Ministry of Legal Affairs; or indeed

a Ministry of Public Security

But to lift the level of debate, again without adverting to the perceived offending provisions in any detail, I would be grateful for advice as to how say, activist religious groups could be implicated; whether ‘a governing party’ (as distinct from Government) can be interpreted at any time of being offensive to an ‘Opposition’ party, and vice versa?

And how potent is the suggestion that the sort of crime being discussed could not include offence to civil society – the electorate?

Is this not the meat of contention?

Yours faithfully,

E.B. John

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