GUATEMALA: Law against Cybercrime initiative turned down

September 2022

On August 24, 112 deputies to the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala voted in favor of the objections to Decree 30-2022 and as a consequence, the so-called Cybercrime Prevention and Protection Law, created by bill 5601, was shelved.

Due to its filing, the Law will no longer be sent to the Executive for sanction and publication, nor will it take effect. Several experts, academics and several other opponents concluded that said decree is dangerous because it could be used to limit freedom of expression and criminalize comments towards officials and political figures who have been criticized and questioned for the performance of their duties.

A group of deputies who voted in favor considered that the content of the Law could have generated “diverse interpretations” creating a legal gap, which would even serve as a legal tool for repressive purposes, prohibiting the dissemination of images of satire or information about officials or politicians. , who could claim to be affected by their honor, dignity, that of their family and other social environments.

Likewise, the law sought to protect Guatemalans and their personal data from cybercriminals, typifying crimes such as harassment by cybernetic means, cyberbullying, cybercrime, cyberdefense, computer fraud and protection of personal data on the Internet.

Since its approval, the Law has generated concern about the possible violation of the constitutional right of the free expression of thought.

Uriell Lima, Abogado

21/9/2022

Image: Patrick Fore, on Unsplash