Cyber Crimes Bill will protect the state – Min. Harmon – from espionage, sabotage and subversion – National Security a major priority of Govt
DPI, GUYANA, Saturday, April 28, 2018
As Guyana continues to open up and move further onto the global square the administration has drafted a Cybercrime Bill which is meant to strengthen the country’s ability to defend itself against cyber-attacks, which is now a global issue.
The Cyber Crimes Bill which was slated for debate during the 87th Sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday last was deferred to a later date to facilitate further deliberation before it is laid in the House.
On Friday at his post-Cabinet press conference, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said the capacity of the state agencies to respond to the eventuality of a cyber-attack was recently addressed at a meeting of the National Defence Committee.
In response to concerns raised about Section (18) of the Bill, which deals with sedition, Minister Harmon said it addresses the security concerns of the Government. “It’s about espionage, it’s about sabotage, it’s about subversion,” all of which pose threats to national security, the Minister explained.
However, Minister Harmon said this and other sections of the Bill cannot be viewed in isolation but form part of the group of measures in the Bill that will eventually become an Act to protect all state agencies.
An attack, the State Minister pointed out, which threatens any of the state institutions, constitutes an offence.
“I am sure in the National Assembly, when the matter comes up you will have a robust and healthy debate on that section and several other sections,” he added.
Section (18) of the Cyber Crimes Bill states that, “a person commits an offence of sedition if the person, whether in or out of Guyana, intentionally publishes, transmit or circulates by use of a computer system, a statement or words, either spoken or written, a text, video, image, sign, visible representation that brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by the law of Guyana.”
By: Stacy Carmichael.