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JIS News

Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM), Hon. Julian Robinson, says increased efforts will be made to speed up Parliamentary deliberations on the Cybercrimes Act.

The State Minister told JIS News that a proposal will be made to House Leader, Hon. Phillip Paulwell and his Opposition counterpart,  Delroy Chuck, for the establishment of a Joint Select Committee of Parliament to review the Cybercrimes Act.

“I anticipate that the review will start before the end of the financial year. I can’t give a specific timeline as to when we will complete it, because it depends on how quickly the Committee works, but it is something that we are pushing ahead with,  and we are committed to ensuring that the issues of online security are given priority and treated as a matter of national security,” he emphasised.              

Individuals, businesses and Governments around the world use the internet as the primary medium for communication and for the delivery of  services, finance, commerce, health care and education. However, with the advances in technology and telecommunication have come new opportunities for persons to engage in criminal activities.

The Cybercrimes Act, which has sanctions for the misuse of computer systems or data and which facilitates the investigation and prosecution of such crimes, was passed in 2010. Provision was also made for the Act to be reviewed bi-annually.   

Mr.  Robinson, who has portfolio responsibility for the ICT component of the Ministry,  said the review is important in this new age and the rapid advance of computer technology.

“We have to ensure that the provisions [that are in place] allow our security forces and our prosecutors to be able to deal with persons effectively, who commit cybercrimes and that they  protect our individuals and our assets against persons who may want to  perpetrate such crimes,” he said.