5 Ways Your Phone Could Land You in Jail

  • File image of a phone user perusing a gadget.
    File image of a phone user perusing a gadget.
  • Technological advancements in the country have suffered major drawbacks resulting from cybercrime activities conducted through gadgets like mobile phones and computers. These drawbacks risk eclipsing the innumerable benefits to the modern world.

    The rising number of cybercrime, for example, has led to the enactment of laws to govern the usage of mobile phones and computers as a mitigatory measure.

    In Kenya, the Cybercrime Act was enacted to curb the rising number of criminal activities associated with mobile phones and computer systems. The laws were effected despite uproar from a section of human rights lobby groups who protested the limitation of freedom of expression.

    Kenyans.co.ke looks at five ways a mobile phone can land you in jail. 

    Phones recovered following the arrest of suspects along Southern Bypass on Wednesday, June 23.
    Phones recovered following the arrest of suspects along Southern Bypass on Wednesday, June 23.

    Publishing False Information 

    This law limits the freedom of a phone user and redefines the freedom of expression as provided in Article 33 of the Constitution. 

    Kenyan law prohibits publishing information about an individual or entity that has the potential to cause harm to reputation or cause panic. Such an offense could warrant a fine not exceeding five million shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years. 

    This applies to the usage of social media spaces including Facebook and Twitter which are deemed as publications. 

    Cyber Bullying 

    Cyberbullying as entrenched in this Act denotes any form of communication from a computer system user that could cause fear of violence or detrimental effects on a person’s mental state.

    Posting or publishing information that could cause fear, apprehension, or is perceived as violence to a person warrants a fine of at least Ksh20 million or imprisonment of ten years.

    This also affects social media users where most cases of cyberbullying manifest. A study by the World Wide Web has established that more than one in every five women in Kenya has experienced cyberbullying on social media platforms. This could be in form of texting or posting information that could affect the mental well-being of a person.

    Violating Trademark Rules 

    Trademarks refer to any word, symbol, or a name that has been registered by an entity or individual as a form of identity. Using or taking such a name could invite a legal suit that could land you to a jail term of two years.

    This offense could also warrant a fine of Ksh200,000. In worse situations, a person committing such an offense could be subjected to both penalties. 


    Impersonation on social media could also lead to legal suits in the country. This refers to any usage of signature, password, or feature of identification of another person.

    Using passwords or pseudo accounts with a person's name or symbol of identity could be interpreted as an offence in the cybercrime laws. 

    This offense warrants a jail term of not more than three years or a fine of Ksh200,000. 

    A person using a phone
    A person using a phone
    criminal violence arrest suspect