National efforts on  to spread Cyber Crime Act awareness
November 22, 2016
National efforts on to spread Cyber Crime Act awareness

As people become more technologically adept, cyber crimes have been increasing. With this in mind, the Ministry of Information has been hosting several sensitization forums on the Cyber Crime Act at schools across the country.

Speaking at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College Division of Arts Science and General Studies{{more}} last Wednesday, Minister of Information Camillo Gonsalves stated that as persons become more proficient with technology they have the potential to either be criminals or victims.

“We have to have a structure to protect the victims and prosecute the criminals. And, that is what the Cyber Crime Act is,” Gonsalves said to the audience, made up of mainly students of the campus.

He explained that cyber crime has been listed as a tier one threat in the world and particularly in the Caribbean.

“The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has listed a series of security threats that face the region and one of the tier one threats… is cyber crime,” he said.

Furthermore, the minister added that CARICOM has stated that if they are serious about business, attracting investment, jobs, citizens’ money and safe banking, structures need to be put in place to develop the appropriate sanctions and punishments for people who do business, work and socialize using the Internet and computers.

“The Act puts in place a number of measures to prevent criminal behaviour online that would affect things to have to do with businesses and jobs and investment,” Gonsalves outlined.

He explained that the Act is trying to put systems in place for criminals who believe that the newness of the Internet allows for them to get away with crime.

Gonsalves explained to the students that they are now tasked with the responsibility of sensitizing their parents and older family members who are new to the Internet.

“So you have work to do as the first cyber generation, not only to learn with us, [but] to teach us how to set up the law and how to protect you and your interactions and to sensitize us to new threats,” he stated.

Gonsalves told students, especially those interested in information technology, that the Act is not just for punishing and pointing out crime, but an opportunity for them to find employment in the future.

“There will be jobs in enforcement, there will be jobs in building technological resilience, there will be jobs in protecting children, there will be jobs in tracking down some of these cyber criminals and those are jobs that you could be doing. So, when you think about cyber crime, don’t just think that it’s don’t do this, don’t do that, that is bad; think about it as a potential career path and think about technology and information systems and a career path,” he pointed out.

Members of the NTRC and the Ministry of Information made presentations on the Act and the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) broke down the law for students in attendance. They were then able to pose questions the DPP and NTRC about their concerns about and proposals for the Act.

The controversial Cyber Crime Act was passed in the House of Parliament on August 11 and them proclaimed by the Governor General on August 22, 2016. (CM)