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Cyber Crime Bill approved by House of Representatives

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Posted: Friday, September 25, 2020. 1:06 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Does the Cyber Crime Bill, 2020, go far enough?

Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture which also has responsibility for science and technology, Patrick Faber, says there is always an opportunity to fix legislation, but this is a bipartisan start.

The Minister said there had been three hours of consultations at this week’s meeting of the House’s Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee, hearing testimonies from various stakeholders and which yielded some changes, including delineating offenses such as illegally accessing a computer system, illegally accessing and manipulating data, computer-related forgery, and assessing stiffer penalties.

Crimes against children and those of a sexual nature should, of necessity, carry even stiffer penalties than those against adults, Faber said. He paid tribute to Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow and others who came up with the initial legislation, based in part on similar acts in other territories. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will be called on to assist with tracking criminals, and threatening, harassing and otherwise hurting them online is also an offense.

Referencing this week’s contretemps over the Cellular World tablet contract, Faber mentioned the handling of logos, trademarks, etc. and the catching of anonymous individuals creating mischief on social media.

Earlier, Lake Independence area representative Cordel Hyde listed several offenses now criminalized under the act with approval, including inappropriately grooming children.

And the Prime Minister commended the “united” spirit of the House in today’s debate and once again thanked those responsible for the long “overdue” bill, which now goes to the Senate.

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