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KINGSTON — Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, says aspects of the laws dealing with cyber crimes may need to be amended, in order to effectively address the incidence of this illicit activity in the information and communications technology (ICT)/business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.

Speaking at a media briefing at the New Kingston offices of the investment promotion agency, JAMPRO, on August 4, to announce the Government’s plans for expansion in the ICT sector, Dr. Tufton noted that the incidence of cyber crimes in the industry is an “issue,” and cited the impact which illicit activities, such as the lottery scam, have had on Jamaicans.   

“It has emerged as part of the risk assessment for any investor looking to come in (to invest in the local ICT sector), particularly in certain segments of the client base. In areas of banking and finance, for example, it’s riskier,” he said.

The Minister said consultations which he has had with investors over the past several weeks, have indicated consensus of the possible need to strengthen Jamaica’s cyber crimes legislation, “to give it more teeth and to allow for more effective enforcement."

Dr. Tufton further argued that there is the need to determine whether resources dedicated to conducting intelligence gathering, investigations and prosecutions in cyber crime matters, need to be increased.

“For us, as a country, if it is an important area that we are committed to pushing, we are going to have to address the entire scale. Therefore, if it requires, over time,  completing that assessment, a strengthening of both the personnel as well as the legislation, then we are going to have to look at it, and I’m committed to doing that,” Dr. Tufton assured.

Newly appointed Ambassador/Special Envoy with responsibility for ICT in the Ministry, Patrick Casserly, concurred with Dr. Tufton, emphasising that, “we need to push towards enforcement, and look at what laws we already have in place, with a view to strengthening them." 

 

By DOUGLAS McINTOSH, JIS Reporter