Why Edgar Obare's Followers Could be in Trouble

  • File image of blogger Edgar Obare
    File image of blogger Edgar Obare
  • The arrest of blogger Edgar Obare over his scandalous exposés on well-known figures including actors, influencers, musicians and politicians could extend to his followers.

    On Monday, August 3 he was arraigned at the Kiambu Law Courts following his arrest and was charged with disclosure of private data.

    Police are likely to go after a number of the blogger's followers because they are his sources for the information he posts online

    Blogger Edgar Obare at Kiambu Law Courts on Monday, August 3, 2020
    Blogger Edgar Obare at Kiambu Law Courts on Monday, August 3, 2020

    The blogger crowd-sources scoops from followers who request him to hide their identities before distributing the reports.

    With police seizing his computer, phone and other electronic devices, detectives will be able to find out the originators of his gossip scoops.

    In November 2019, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations received advanced equipment that is able to retrieve digital evidence from such devices. 

    Even if the evidence is deleted from the devices DCI’s sophisticated Universal Forensic Extraction Devices (UFED) and Forensic Recovery of Evidence Devices (FRED) are able to retrieve the information. 

    The equipment was donated by the German Cooperation and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime led by German Ambassador to Kenya Annett Günther.

    “Günther noted that the same would enhance the fight against Cyber Crime and other Organized Crimes,” DCI announced at the time.

    Many have accused Obare of giving his followers a platform to tarnish celebrities online but he maintains that he makes sure the information checks out before posting information.

    "My followers know me, I ask for evidence and they know I can turn against them if they lie. And I also know who they are," he explained during a past interview with Kenyans.co.ke. 

    His exposés which delve into the personal lives of high-profile Kenyan celebrities have seen Obare threatened and harassed online.

    Though Obare’s lawyer, Titus Munene Kinyua revealed that Obare would be charged with exposure of private data in contravention of Section 72 of the Data Protection Act, the offense also captures elements of the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Bill 2018 that criminalizes abuse of persons on social media.

    It deals with offences relating to computer systems including but not limited to unauthorised access, unauthorised interference, unauthorised interception, unauthorised disclosure of passwords, cyber espionage, false publications, child pornography, cyber terrorism and wrongful distribution of obscene or intimate images.

    The Act also deals with computer forgery, computer fraud, cyber harassment, the publication of false information, cybersquatting, identity theft and impersonation, phishing, interception of electronic messages or money transfers, willful misdirection of electronic messages and fraudulent use of electronic data among other cyber crimes.

    File image of blogger Edgar Obare
    File image of blogger Edgar Obare
    criminal pornography harass abuse terrorism arrest fight