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AG: Government working on cybercrime legislation | #cybercrime | #infosec


Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC – Office of the Parliament

ATTORNEY General Reginald Armour, SC, said on Tuesday that Government is working to strengthen legislation to protect citizens against different forms of cybercrime.

He made this statement on a matter raised on the adjournment of the Senate by Independent Senator Paul Richards.

While the Computer Misuse Act was passed in 2020, Armour said Government recognises the need to continue to strengthen this legislation.

“Our work is set out for us and we are continuing as a government to give active consideration to all of the circumstances of criminality.”

Armour said amendments to the act are being considered and reviewed by the Ministry of the AG and Legal Affairs.

He also disclosed that TT was invited in October 2021 to formally ratify the Budapest Convention, the first international treaty seeking to address Internet and computer crime by harmonising national laws, improving investigative techniques and increasing co-operation among nations.

TT has observer status to the convention and has five years in which to ratify the treaty.

Armour said once this happens, TT can benefit through partnership with other nations to combat various types of cybercrime.

While it has been identified globally as a significant area of grievous crime, Armour said, “There is no international definition of cyber crime or cyber attacks.”

He acknowledged that these crimes do not respect international borders or the sovereignty of individual nations.

Armour also observed that in many countries, including TT, the public and private sectors are heavily reliant on information communication technology, rendering them vulnerable to potential cyber attacks.

“We almost go to bed with our devices.”

He agreed with Richards on the need to ensure effective legislation is in place to combat cybercrime to protect all members of the population, especially children.

Richards recalled there has been an active debate about the pros and cons about cybercrime legislation for a long time.

But he said, ” I don’t think that should stop the process of bring this kind of critical legislation to protect the people of TT.”

Richards remembered that bonafide journalists had a concern about how cybercrime legislation could affect their work. He was uncertain whether the constitutional ability of journalists to do their work without the potential for ending up on the wrong side of the law was ever properly fleshed out

Richards said the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) underscores the importance of safeguards against cybercrime.

He told senators that using AI, people’s voices and faces could be planted in places where they have never been and they could face legal consequences as a result.

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