KINGSTON, Oct. 14 (JIS): The Cybercrimes Act, which seeks to address computer specific offences, was passed in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (October 13) with two amendments.
The new Act will replace the 2010 legislation, and incorporates new offences such as computer-related fraud or forgery; the use of computers for malicious communication; and unauthorised disclosure of investigation.
It also addresses the use of the computer for malicious communication.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, informed that the clause was included “because there is a new phenomenon called cyberbulling.”
“This is where persons wilfully send messages, which are designed to annoy, and harass. The data that is sent must be obscene or is menacing in nature. The person sending the data does so intending to cause or is reckless as to whether the sending of the data causes annoyance, inconvenience or distress,” he explained.
Opposition Spokesperson on Information Communications Technology (ICT),
Dr. Andrew Wheately, while welcoming the provision to address cyberbulling, said the clause could have the effect of inhibiting use of information communications technology (ICT).
“This section has the most far-reaching implications of this Act. The intention of this section is to no doubt reduce the incidence of cyberbullying, which we fully endorse. However, it seems to be completely oblivious to the level of sophistication of the layman technology user,” he said.
I am sure that members on both sides of this House will agree that this section cannot stand as is. It cannot be that a person who…. makes a mistake while sending an email, text message or other correspondence could be charged with a crime,” he argued further.
Mr. Robinson, in acknowledging the concerns, said Clause 9 Section 1 (b) is to be amended to state that a person commits an offence, if that person wilfully uses a computer to send to another person any data that is obscene or offensive.
“I want to assure persons, who may send a message and they think that simply sending a message, which might be a joke, that you will be caught here. That is not what this provision is meant to deal with,” Mr. Robinson said.
In closing the debate, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining,
Hon. Phillip Paulwell, noted that offences under the Bill require an act and intent.
“We have been faithful to ensure that both aspects are provided for, so no innocent bystander will be caught by this. Nobody, who is engaged in doing ICT business, will be caught by this, as you must have intent to do some wrong and the onus is to establish that the intent has been proven,” Mr. Paulwell said.
The legislation will now be sent to the Senate for its approval.
Register of Interests of the Members of the House of Assembly
#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2023 – The Integrity Commission advises that the Register of Interests for Members of the Turks and Caicos Islands House of Assembly, as at 31st December 2022 has been completed.
Members of the House of Assembly are required by the Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution, Section 103(2), and the Integrity Commission Ordinance (the Ordinance), as amended, Section 52(1), to file with the Commission, Statements of Registrable Interests. The Commission would, therefore, like to inform members of the public that, it has compiled the information contained in these Statements of Registrable Interests and has produced The Register of Interests 2022 for the Members of the House of Assembly, as at 31st December 2022.
The Register of Interests 2022 is now available for public inspection at the following locations:
- House of Assembly in Grand Turk
- Office of the Premier – Grand Turk and Providenciales
- Office of the Integrity Commission – Grand Turk and Providenciales (during the hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm from Mondays to Thursdays and 8:00am to 4:00pm on Fridays.)
- Office of the District Commissioner – Middle Caicos, North Caicos, Salt Cay and South Caicos.
The Register can be viewed at these locations during normal working hours or at a time that is convenient for the respective offices.
For further information or any assistance please contact the Integrity Commission:
By telephone at: 946-1941(Grand Turk Office) or 941-7847 (Providenciales Office) By e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Grand Bahama to be CARGO HUB, as Bahamas & Qatar ink MOU
#TheBahamas, September 29, 2023 – With moves to deepen ties, governments of The Bahamas and Qatar have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to solidify agreements in principle surrounding the development of aviation and other related services.
This is according to Chester Cooper, The Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investment and Aviation in a Facebook post.
This comes after The Bahamas Government in a press release on September 24th, revealed that Cooper, was set to meet with the head of Qatar Airways to have talks regarding “multiple mutually beneficial aviation opportunities for both countries.”
The release also said the deputy prime minister and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investment and Aviation are working on “forging strategic partnerships with several Middle Eastern countries to strengthen ties to The Bahamas and the Caribbean,” and this new signing is indicative of such efforts.
Following the September 25th signing, on September 27th, Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General of Tourism for The Bahamas informed via Facebook some details of the agreement saying, “we have now established a framework for cooperation and formed strategic partnerships with Qatar Airways, Qatar’s Transport, Aviation and Investment Agencies and The Qatar Aeronautical Academy, that will benefit our country.”
Regarding further efforts for the improvement of The Bahamas, Cooper announced on Facebook again on Tuesday September 26th that both countries are working to make Nassau a passenger hub for Latin America and the Caribbean adding that talks are being held for Grand Bahama as a cargo hub.
Additionally, as the press release informed, Cooper is preparing for an on ground visit of Bahamasair domestic operations by Qatar Airways Technical team sometime in October.
Guyana to build regional food hub
#Guyana, September 29, 2023 – Guyana is making moves to become the primary food production center for the Caribbean, going ahead with plans to develop a USD$14 million regional food hub.
In fact, as reported by the Observer, the facility has already been identified on the country’s Soesdyke /Linden Highway.
“We want Guyana to be the food hub, the primary production hub of the Caribbean so that we could supply the Caribbean. What we have, our colleagues in the Caribbean don’t have. We have arable flat land and abundant fresh water,” he said, adding that with the multi-million dollar US investment, the country can, “modernise the infrastructure, and start ramping up the productions.”
Also, the Agriculture Minister pointed out that the project is geared to make for a more competitive local Agriculture industry as well as developing high-yielding varieties, pest-resistant and climate-resilient varieties.
Additionally, in the facility’s development, Guyana, Mustapha said, will work with Belize.
In fact, with more on Belize’s involvement, Dr. Ashni Singh, Finance Minister, informed that the Government is in talks with the Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley about sourcing inputs from northern Brazil and transporting them through Guyana to Barbados and vice versa.
Singh also reportedly revealed that the project will help develop the growing logistics industry in Guyana.
Considering regional food import cost, with this development, Guyana is the leading Caribbean Community country pushing ahead with plans to reduce the multi-billion dollar regional food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025, the Observer says.
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