PanamaTimes

Sunday, Jun 23, 2024

Steep Penalties For Cybercrimes, Hacking & Bullying

Steep Penalties For Cybercrimes, Hacking & Bullying

The penalty for computer and cyber abuse will significantly increase, and legislators announced that this is a necessary deterrent to online bullying in the Territory. In fact, the debate on the Computer Misuse and Cybercrime (Amendment) Act 2019 during the House of Assembly on August 1 saw a general agreement among the legislators, that this was a necessary tool to put a stop to disparaging Whatsapp memes and leaked sexual videos.

Before the Bill was forwarded to a Select Committee of the House of Assembly, Leader of Government business and the mover of the Bill, Premier Hon. Andrew Fahie announced that the legislation also contains stipulations for blogging on local news sites.

Overall, legislators on both sides of the aisle agreed with majority of the changes that were proposed to the Computer Misuse Act.

Most keen on the amendment was Premier Fahie, who announced that some of the amendments are expected to be enforced swiftly after the legislation is passed.

In outlining the objects and reasons of the legislation, Hon. Fahie said consideration for the protection of the financial services sector, minors, and the reputation of the Territory were chief.

“When one looks at the nature of some of our key business sectors, you can see why the safety and integrity of electronic data is important. We cannot afford to wait for something to happen and then react, we have to keep up with the trends…we have to try to be ahead of the times…The Bill today seeks to strengthen our protection from individuals and entities who can be vulnerable to attacks from persons who abuse their access to computer systems,” the Premier said.

A major change in the Bill from the original 2014 legislation is the proposed increase of the fees and penalty for the various offenses. In noting the change, the Premier said, “The punishment for these offenses need to be severe because the potential damages and hurt that can be inflicted in the commission…can be very disastrous and are very serious.”

One of the three areas where the penalties were altered is the part of the Act that deals with unlawful access to the data stored on a computer or a network system (hacking). The fine was increased from $10,000 or two years imprisonment on summary conviction to $200,000 and seven years. It was also changed from $50,000 and five years on indictment to $500,000 and 14 years.

The second increase of fines deals with the unlawful interception of data or communication. The fine was increased from $50,000 and or seven years upon conviction to $200,000 and or seven years on conviction. And from $100,000 and or 10 years on indictment to $500,000 and or 14 years.

The third fine increase is for making available device or data. This, the Premier said, has to do with making the tools and information available for someone to obtain unauthorized access to a network or system. Hon. Fahie noted that the offence can be done by the sharing of a password or creation of a device to break in. The fines increased from $40,000 and five years on summary conviction to $200,000 and or seven years, and from $250,000 and or 15 years on indictment increased to $500,000 and 14 years.

After outlining the new increases, the Premier said that it is up to the House to reduce, increase or deal with the fines however they see fit. However, he told the House to consider that once someone loses their reputation through the unlawful use of technology, there is not enough money in the world that can restore it.

“Hopefully the increased penalties would serve their purpose as an effective deterrent,” he said.

The Act also covers frowned upon activities such as harassment, stalking, criminal intimidation, blackmail, criminal deception and other grossly offensive menacing behavior. The penalties for these offenses are on summary conviction proposed to be a fine not exceeding $200,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years or both. The new proposed fine is not exceeding $500,000 or imprisonment to a term not exceeding 14 years or both.

The Premier in alluding to comments made online stated that there is a fine for slandering and defamation as well.

“Electronic defamation is also becoming a serious problem and persons who are engaged in this hide behind the anonymity factor in social media platforms. They create fake profiles, although some do it in the open using their real identities and circulate malicious falsehood. Such behaviors will carry a fine not exceeding $100,000 or imprisonment to a term not exceeding three years or both upon conviction of the offender,” he told the House of Assembly.

Speaking specifically about news media blogs, he said “The blogs, now you can blog, but the company will have to be responsible to know the identity of the person so you can blog; you have the freedom to blog, but you have to be responsible.”

As it relates to the protection of minors, the Premier said that the Bill will extend the definition of offenses against minors to include things such as inducing or enticing a child through an online relationship with another child or an adult through the use of a computer.

This part of the amendment, the Premier said, is dear to his heart because he knows of incidences and the aftermath of such unfortunate matters.

Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
United States Bans Kaspersky Antivirus
Inside El Salvador’s 40,000 Inmate Mega-Prison
Toyota, Mazda, Honda, and Suzuki have committed fraud; falsified safety test results
El Salvador's Bitcoin Holdings Reach $350 Million
Teens Forming Friendships with AI Chatbots
WhatsApp Rolls Out Major Redesign
Neuralink's First Brain Implant Experiences Issue
Apple Unveils New iPad Pro with M4 Chip, Misleading AI Claims
OpenAI to Announce Google Search Competitor
Apple Apologizes for Controversial iPad Pro Ad Featuring Instrument Destruction
German politician of the AFD party, Marie-Thérèse Kaiser was just convicted & fined $6,000+
Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to Four Months in Jail
Biden Administration to Relax Marijuana Regulations
101-Year-Old Woman Mistaken for a Baby by American Airlines: Comical Mix-Up during Flight Check-in
King Charles and Camilla enjoying the Inuit voice singing performance in Canada.
New Study: Vaping May Lower Fertility in Women Trying to Get Pregnant
U.S. DOJ Seeks Three-Year Sentence for Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao
Headlines - Thursday, 23 April 2024
Illinois Woman Wins $45M Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson and Kenvue for Mesothelioma Linked to Baby Powder
Panama's lates news for Friday, April 19
Creative menu of a Pizza restaurant..
You can be a very successful player, but a player with character is another level!
Experience the Future of Dining: My Visit to an AI-Powered Burger Joint
Stabbing rampage terror attack in Sydney, at least four people killed, early reports that a baby was among those stabbed.
Iran fired more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight. Israel Reports Light Damage After Iran Launches Large Strike.
I will never get enough of his videos and the pure joy and beauty of these women!!
Scientists at the University of Maryland have developed an "invisibility cloak", for AI using adversarial patterns on a sweater, making the wearer nearly undetectable to standard object detection methods.
Lamborghini Bids Farewell to Its Best-Selling Sports Car: The Huracán
Sam Bankman-Fried Appeals 25-Year Prison Sentence for $8bn FTX Fraud
OJ Simpson, ex-NFL star who was acquitted of murder, dies aged 76
British Backpacker Imprisoned in Notorious Bolivian Prison: Family Raises Funds for Legal Fight and Essentials
Argentina: Venezuela Cuts Power to Embassy after Opposition Meeting
El Salvador Offers 5,000 Passports to Skilled Foreign Workers: Tax-Free Relocation and Citizenship
Panama Papers Trial Begins: Founders of Mossack Fonseca Face Money-Laundering Charges
75 Becomes the New 65: Retiring in Your 60s Unrealistic as Life Expectancy Increases and Costs Rise
Total Solar Eclipse of 2021: 32 Million Witness the Mystical, $1.5bn Spectacle Sweep Across North America
New shopping experience…
New world, new reality, let’s get used to it
UK Company Passes Milestone in Developing Space-Based Solar Power, Aiming to Power a Million Homes and Provide Constant Energy
Mexico Breaks Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador after Police Storm Embassy, Arrest Former Vice President
Monty Python were so ahead of their time
If there's a will, there's a way!
Rules about how to dress are important, but not so much if you have a lot of money.
Body Armor Firm Showcases Stab-Proof Vest in Demo on CEO
Mexico Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador After Embassy Stormed in Quito
Here is a tattoo idea, for engineers
Zoraya Ter Beek, a 28-year-old woman from the Netherlands, will undergo euthanasia in May due to severe mental health challenges
Here's a video featuring Fidel Castro, where he discusses his stance against war and his commitment to preserving life, positions that have put him at odds with the USA:
Woman reaches behind and steals gun from a security guard and shoots three people while getting detained in Chile
Take a walk around the safe and thriving downtown San Salvador.
×