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Sanef comments on proposed POIB changes

The SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef) has issued a brief preliminary statement on changes proposed to the Protection of State Information Bill.
"Sanef notes the changes proposed to the Protection of State Information Bill made by the ad hoc committee on the bill in the National Council of Provinces.

"It seems clear that members of the committee have decided that the legislation must reflect the fact that the vast majority of those who made submissions on the bill called for a public interest defence to be inserted, along with other important changes.

"Among other changes, the committee has proposed an exemption from legal liability for the disclosure of classified information that reveals "criminal activity".

"Sanef will study this and other proposed changes carefully to determine whether what appears to be a step in the right direction goes far enough to satisfy our serious concerns about the potential negative consequences of the proposed legislation for freedom of information, freedom of speech, and the health of democracy."