T&T National Security Minister: Not trying to muzzle the media

(Trinidad Express)  Minister of National Security Gary Griffith said yesterday he wanted to clarify that the Cybercrime Bill, 2014 tabled in Parliament, Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain, on Friday is designed in no way to muzzle or control the operations of the media but rather to treat with harassment, cyber-bullying, damage to reputation and extortion via the use of a computer system.

“It must be noted that Clause 21 was not intended to muzzle the media but was intended to protect our citizens from any person who seeks to harass or publish false information or extort money from another by publishing information via a computer system. Furthermore sub-clause 2 requires that the information is disseminated via a computer system knowing the same to be false, which is still in keeping with section 8 of the Libel and Defamation Act and sub-clause (4) requires that the person intends to extort a benefit by threatening to publish the information via a computer system,” he said in a statement.

“Clause 21 in no way intends to limit the freedoms of the media as the freedom of the press is not only respected but is vital in today’s world, but rather to protect our citizens from those who lurk online and seek to harass our citizens, who cyber-stalk them, who extort money by threatening to publish information obtained either in contravention of sections of this Bill or obtained legally.”

He said this offence would carry a fine of TT$100,000 and three years’ imprisonment on Summary Conviction or a fine of TT$250,000 and five years’ imprisonment on conviction on Indictment.

 

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