Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / MATT concerned by Faris’ “worrisome” Cybercrime Bill; potential to criminalise journalists

MATT concerned by Faris’ “worrisome” Cybercrime Bill; potential to criminalise journalists

“MATT remains deeply troubled that the Cybercrime Bill has retained its potential to criminalise professional journalists working in the public interest.
“While MATT follows the argument that the redrafted Clause 8 of the Cybercrime Bill introduces layers of proof—intentionally, without lawful excuse, justification—to be satisfied by a complainant in order to prove that an offence has been committed, we consider these to be low bars to scale and note also that these layers are to be satisfied in the Court.”

The following press statement was issued by the Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT):

Photo: A reporter on the job.
Photo: A reporter on the job.

The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) is deeply concerned about the reintroduction of the Cybercrime Bill (2016).

In our last correspondence with the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs dated 17 February, MATT noted several areas of concern with the proposed bill and called for further consultation. There was correspondence dated 19 February 2017, indicating receipt of MATT’s letter to the Attorney General but there has been no further dialogue to address the concerns stated in the correspondence dated 17 February 2017.

MATT is in no way satisfied with the level of consultation taken place thus far on the Bill.

According to MATT’s records the executive of the association met with the current Attorney General to discuss the Cybercrime Bill on two occasions namely 16 June 2016 and 16 December 2016. The meeting on 16 December 2016 focused specifically on Clause 8 of the Cybercrime Bill as well as some new inserts and deletions.

We therefore find it worrisome that at yesterday’s post Cabinet press conference Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi signalled his intention to bring the Bill before a Joint Select Committee of the Parliament today.

MATT remains deeply troubled that the Cybercrime Bill has retained its potential to criminalise professional journalists working in the public interest.

Photo: Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.
Photo: Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.

While MATT follows the argument that the redrafted Clause 8 of the Cybercrime Bill introduces layers of proof—intentionally, without lawful excuse, justification—to be satisfied by a complainant in order to prove that an offence has been committed, we consider these to be low bars to scale and note also that these layers are to be satisfied in the Court.

In other words, these “protections” take effect after legal action has been taken and the matters brought before a Court.

As stated in our previous letter to the Office of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs:

“MATT anticipates injury to journalism, media houses and independent journalists arising from this clause.

“We also see the potential for self-censorship by journalists and media houses in order to avoid expensive, protracted and worrisome legal procedures and in order to protect their sources.

“As currently drafted, Clause 8 would have potent and perhaps fatal effects on independent practitioners in particular who could find themselves mired in legal action that could result in their professional demise. This is a strategy already used against the press; we see provisions as drafted in this Bill encouraging that practice against the press.

Photo: Journalism is under threat.
Photo: Journalism is under threat.

“As a further example, we are very concerned that Clause 12 lists ‘national security’ as a broad area of proposed legislative protection. The news media in Trinidad and Tobago debated and resolved this decades ago. ‘National security’ is too wide a reference as it is often invoked to suppress information.

“MATT is adamant that the Bill must include exemptions for journalists and whistleblowers. Without such exemptions, the Bill threatens to violate constitutional rights to press freedom and freedom of expression.

“The Association continues to be available to your Office to work towards a thoughtful, creative solution to what we identify as a troubling intrusion on the freedom of journalists to serve the public’s right to know.”

Three months later, MATT continues to be available to the Office of the Attorney General, and now the Joint Select Committee, to discuss our concerns over the legislation, and to ensure the continued protection of our journalists.

The current MATT executive comprises of: President Vernon Ramesar, Vice President Joel Julien, Secretary Vishala Ganesh, Assistant Secretary Clydeen McDonald, Treasurer Vindhar Suraj and Floor members Julien Neaves and Patricia Nicholson.

Photo: Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) president Vernon Ramesar.
Photo: Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) president Vernon Ramesar.

Cybercrime Bill

Clause 8. (1) A person who intentionally and without lawful excuse or justification accesses a computer system without authorisation, or by exceeding authorised access, and obtains computer data commits an offence and is liable:

(a) on summary conviction to a fine of one hundred thousand dollars and imprisonment for two years; or (b) on conviction on indictment to a fine of five hundred thousand dollars and imprisonment for three years.

Clause 12. (1) A person who, through authorised or unauthorised means, obtains or accesses computer data which:

(a) is commercially sensitive or a trade secret; (b) relates to the national security of the State; or (c) is stored on a computer system and is protected against unauthorised access, and intentionally and without lawful excuse or justification grants access to or gives the computer data to another person, whether or not he knows that the other person is authorised to receive or have access to the computer data, commits an offence.

(2) A person who commits an offence under this section is liable:

(a)  on summary conviction to a fine of two hundred thousand dollars and imprisonment for three years; and (b)  on conviction on indictment to a fine of five hundred thousand dollars and imprisonment for five years.

Photo: A journalist types her story.
Photo: A journalist types her story.

Cybercrime Bill explanatory note:

Clause 8 seeks to create the offence of illegally acquiring computer data. This offence would carry a fine of one hundred thousand dollars and two years’ imprisonment on summary conviction or a fine of five hundred thousand dollars and three years’ imprisonment on conviction on indictment.

This clause also seeks to create the offence of receiving or gaining access to computer data knowing that it is obtained illegally, and would carry the same penalty as that of the offence of illegally acquiring computer data.

Clause 12 seeks to create the offence of the unauthorised grant of access to computer data that is commercially sensitive or a trade secret, which relates to the national security of the State, or which is stored on a computer system and is protected against unauthorised access.

This offence would carry a fine of two hundred thousand dollars and three years’ imprisonment on summary conviction or a fine of five hundred thousand dollars and five years’ imprisonment on conviction on indictment.

About MATT Executive

The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago is the authorised representative body for local journalists in all formats.

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128 comments

  1. We take a lot that is said and written. Accept without interrogation.

    How does MATT work in the public interest if never a day, a story or a moment they push back, critique , question or challenge what puppet politicos tell them? When they just parrot.

    Before this long discussion, that could have been first

    Perhaps after, support for views and positions.

  2. Here is the other side of the equation. Norway was ranked first in the article Francesca posted but they have issues.

    http://www.euronews.com/2017/02/03/norway-suffers-extensive-hacking-of-state-computer-systems

  3. The article doesn’t give any details as to the reason but I suspect recent rulings giving Intelligence Services exemptions under certain circumstances are partly to blame and they reference a proposal tgat hasn’t been implemented that is not part of the current law.

    Unless you can point to more definitive information, I still don’t see the problem.

    Keep in mind that case law will also have an impact in terms of how the law is applied. Such case law is also used in our jurisdiction as well so the Act is one thing, legal interpretation by the judicial system is another.

  4. There is a current drive to make T & T a destination for outsourced services. This law is part of the legislative framework required to support such a move. The TTIFC has been working to encourage firms to consider us instead of say Costa Rica.

  5. Yeah. You can tell a lot from what they prioritize Sheila.

  6. What happen to our whistleblower legislation ???

    • In the current draft, no legal protection exists for a whistleblower who might bypass the in- house WB officer and make the information public.

    • That’s actually not true Francesca, the Act of 2015 actually does have a provision for bypassing an organization’s internal Whistleblower Reports Officer, but the circumstances of the whistleblower in opting to do so must meet a defined set of exceptions before taking the issue to an external reporting authority.

    • If you are referring to S14 on external reporting, legal protection is only afforded to whistleblowers via reporting to either the a) WB Officer or b) submitting to the WB external unit. No protections are afforded if the information is made directly public, for example via media. Correct me if I am incorrect here.

    • You are indeed correct, but as I stated in response to you elsewhere in the thread “[n]o Whistleblower law anywhere permits you to ‘go directly to the media.’ Just ask Edward Snowden.

  7. I am curious about why there is such committed investment in a Bill to fix a future problem while current problems that need fixing right now e.g. repeal of Data Protection Act’s unconstitutional clauses and strengthening of the lame, mostly ineffective Freedom of Information Act are not are not before the Parliament.

  8. Do we realize that expert hackers could solve all our Country First issues and questions, track corruption and create proof files for Action
    ???

  9. Where are the expert hackers is all I want to know.
    And trust me. Who ever set up Trinileaks 2011 is a Boss Par Excellence, bar none!!!

  10. We need legislation for ethical hackers

    • Ethical hacking – that is hacking done on behalf of the system owner – is facilitated. As the hacker has legal justification for what they are doing.

      See? Claude 8 works for that scenario

    • I guess you’re referring to ‘white hats’? Does the term ethical hacker cover hackers who work with national security? To hack suspected criminals? Whose permission is necessary to hack a system? What about hackers attached to private security firms?

    • “To hack suspected criminals? Whose permission is necessary to hack a system?”

      A warrant from the courts would suffice I imagine. And with a warrant, the havker’s activities would be covered as having “legal justification”

    • Ok. Do you know if we recognize ethical hacking certification? Or is it left up to individual judgment? So an individual or company can hire a hacker with or without certification, grant permission to access their system and whatever agreement is drawn up between them suffices? Would that agreement stand up in court if something goes wrong?

    • Alana, wouldn’t the contract of service be the “legal excuse” required to exempt the hacker from prosecution?

    • No idea. I assumed it would depend on the contract, the clauses and the nature of the service. I suppose an attorney would know. There are a differences in views about what is hacking, ethical hacking and whether or not it can even be considered legal.

    • sorry…the question was rhetorical. The contract IS the legal excuse the “hacker” can use to claim that they were not in breach of the law.

      hacking is generally considered an illegal act. It is the digital equivalence of breaking and entering.

      It is not currently covered under the Computer Misuse Act. This act seems to fix that and make THEFT of digital assets unambiguously illegal

    • Hmmm. Ok. I feel as if I came across something a long time ago that suggests otherwise. I’ll double check. Thanks very much

  11. So we want to encourage hacking? Because that’s a sure way for people to develop the Internet economy?

    • Criminals don’t have a right to protect their criminal enterprise from probing. The public good must override the criminal’s right to privacy.

    • And that means all hacking should be legalized?

      Interesting, and very narrow perspective. MATTs position seems to suggest all hacking and data pircacy should be legalized. That is impractical.

      My take? You can still make hacking illegal, and still create a framework where journalists publish stories in the public good.

    • Kwesi you know teachers would say there is no such thing as a stupid question?
      But how do you see my write criminal activities should not be protected by the law and interpret that to mean hacking should be legalized?
      The floor is yes. Explain to me Kwesi Prescod

    • I’ve heard MATT make their argument at length…and its basically seems to be this:
      1) they get their information from sources.
      2) sometimes those sources get then information from copying files from databases, or getting access to databases.
      3) any clause that makes hacking illegal will a) compromise their sources ability to give them information or b) make their receipt of the information will be illegal.

      Even though the current revision says that you have to be complicit in planning and execution of the illegal hack, the argument seems to be that this puts too much fetters on their journalistic endeavours (makes you wonder what these journalists are up to, doesn’t it?).
      Their apparent solution: remove any clause that makes hacking or data piracy illegal.

      do you think that solution appropriate – considering the damage that hacking and data piracy can have on an economy that is based on the exploitation of IPR?

    • Before I answer Kwesi Prescod, please enlighten me on the damage that hackers have been doing to the economy.
      I thought it was corruption, incompetence and low oil prices that brought us here. But maybe it is hackers.
      Can you elaborate?

    • work with me here Lasana,

      We are all asking for the ecnomy to be diversified so that we are less dependent on commodity prices. Among the channels for diversification is the development and sale of electronic content. Further, we would be seeking to create export oriented (i.e. foreign exchange earning) activities where people repose their data assets to service providers located in T&T. This is the kind of economic activity we as a nation should be looking at. This is what proponents of both political sides agree upon. To do this, we need to create an envronment to support those activities.

      Such legislation would include to provide some protection to person’s privacy (Data Protection Act 2011), to create rules around the establishment and execution of electronically mediated contracts (Electronic Transactions Act, 2011) and a framework to allow the police to prosecute acts of theft and saboutage in the electonic realm (Inteception of Communications Act 2011 and the Cyber crime Act). Hacking is an activity, that if not mitigated against, will make the country and companies based here unattractive in the global market of e-service suppliers.

      As discussed elsewhere in this thread, there are framworks built into the law which provides for the legalised use of hacking, or for the sharing of information gleaned from hacking – but that framework has to be – by nature – one which is tghtly controlled. Otherwise we face to same problem I elaborate on above.

      So you can go on about theoretical journalistic endeavours to catch corruption through hacking…which hasn’t happened exclusively yet…at the cost of building a new economy with the opportunity for growth in new sectors of endeavour – including the media…

      or you can understand that its about creating a balance between these interests and thus establish a framework where we can benefit from both lines of action.

      To close – the bill as written provides for “legal excuse and justifciation.” If what the journalist is doing is legal, then they have nothing to worry about. If what they’re doing is not…then they should be in jail anyway for being….corrupt.

    • Kwesi I disagree with your stated interpretation:-“”Their apparent solution: remove any clause that makes hacking or data piracy illegal”

    • Noted, and fair enough. I still await to hear the proposed approach where we keep hacking illegal while facilitating the disclosure to media workers in a way that does not engender a free for all…

    • Kwesi, do you mean giving me examples of the problem this bill is fixing?
      Now I know about journalists who have broken some truly valuable stories to the nation.
      Can you tell us about those hackers who are terrorizing our economy that the government must bring legislation to stop?
      Or is that a red herring?

    • You are aware that there is an international problem of hackers…and we are part of the international community?

      I have stated that we want to BUILD an environment of NEW economic activity…and you ask me to give historic examples?

      okay. carry on. I hear navel watching is an enthralling practice, so I will let you get back on it.

    • Do you have an issue with an exemption for Journalists/ public interest ?

    • Oh one more thing…name ONE story, ONE story that was based on information from a hack that resulted in ONE corrupt individual charged.

      Otherwise the claim that hacking is essential to journalistic endeavours is also a red herring.

    • Francesca, describe comprehensively who is NOT a journalist and I would consider it. If anyone with a cell phone and access to facebook can call themselves a journalist, you are asking to exempt….everyone.

      Or are you suggesting some sort of regime where journalists are identified and…registered?

    • Journalists don’t charge people Kwesi. So you’re well off base.
      It will be easier to point out a story that DOESN’T include “illegitimately gained” information.
      Do you know that Asha Javeed and her source could have been charged for NGC story under this legislation?
      I’m sure you would have been up in arms if that happened.

    • A journalist is not necessarily someone who simply calls themselves such. Even so, are you suggesting that critical information in the public interest (e.g. Panama Papers) that arises in the public domain should not be published ?

    • “Do you know that Asha Javeed and her source could have been charged for NGC story under this legislation?”

      I would argue not. I would like you to make the case on how so, otherwise this claim is a red herring.

    • Francesca, okay.

      ” A journalist is not necessarily someone who simply calls themselves such”

      so who or what determines who is, and who is not a journalist.

      Further, was Sasha Singh’s sex life public interest?

    • Because it was company information. And an employee was actually fired.
      Kwesi have you even heard of the Panama papers?
      You can’t even back up your claim about hackers damaging our economy. You should start there. And say where is the grave danger you speak of.
      The info on NGC was all in the public. If you don’t know about that and think it is a red herring, then I’m wasting my time.

    • on NGC…was there a hack of a computer system? was she complicit in the hack (if there was one). Why was Asha not fired for publishing the story? probably because the first two questions are not relevant…and this she would not be sugject to charge (under this Bill)

      further, was the public interest threshold met? If it was, then there would be no case against her. see? the law would have worked.

      by the way…anybody get charged for the crime yet?

      On Panama Papers…has anything come out of that which captured a single act of corruption in T&T? In that case, was the public interest threshold met?

      On Sascha Singh’s sex life, was the public interest threshold met?

      On the need for cyber crime legislation to establish the environment for future economic endeavour – if you can’t look at the future and see where the world is going…good for you.

    • I’m all for a new economy but we have to be extremely careful that the constitutionally guaranteed rights to expression / information remain untrammeled.

    • Francesca, so we agree. but the question remains – how do you determine who is NOT a journalist so that we are clear who would NOT be exempted?

      if that question remains unasnwered then a blanket exemption for journalists is NOT being careful. Instead, it is being reckless.

    • Kwesi Prescod if you don’t know whose job it is to arrest, charge and prosecute criminals, then we won’t have time to enlighten you here.
      Step one is understanding what you don’t know. We can then point you in the right direction.
      There is no cure for willful ignorance.

    • To be a little more civil, I don’t see how it is the journalist’s fault if law enforcement doesn’t act on information provided.

    • I don’t know what your taking about Lasana.

      Note your own advice on wilful ignorance and myopia

    • Lasana, your single justification for saying that my concern about unfettered hacking is not something to be encouraged, was that hacking was probably a red herring and that journalists’ work uncovers corruption.

      but if that uncovering leads to no action, then isn’t the work of the journalist rendered irrelevant?

    • I try to take my own advice for sure Kwesi. You see there are people who engage in discussions only to defend their tribe. It is important for others to avoid such persons.
      As to what you didn’t get, I meant that the fact that there were no arrests doesn’t invalidate the importance of an article or the work of a journalist. Because it isn’t the job of the journalist to charge and prosecute. So they can’t be evaluated that way.
      Otherwise, let us disagree civilly. You would probably appreciate what journalists do (as well as unaccredited “citizen journalists”) when the pendulum swings again and your tribe is in opposition.
      Real journalists remain constant on our ideals no matter who is in government.

    • so….you assume my support for the drafting of clause 8 is because of my “tribe”

      wow. when your points are weak you revert to invalidate the arguments you can’t argue. That is just lazy, ignorant and demonstrable of an arrogance which suggests that politics may indeed be an avenue for you to pursue.

      to note:
      you claimed Asha faced legal prosecution under this Bill for her NGC piece. I have suggested FOUR different defences which would have cleared her of any wrong doing, if not stopped any prosecution of proceeding. Unable to respond, you claim that I am defending my “tribe”

      You however have not proposed a solution to your disquiet. You claim you don’t want hacking legalised…but you’re complaining about the clause which makes hacking and piracy illegal. Suggesting that…you’re just complaining without purpose? Trinidadians really eh know what they want.

      I hope you learned something about yourself here…I learned something about you.

    • laters. looking forward to see you with your tribe on the political campaign soon enough.

    • I never said anything about Sasha Singh’s sex life being journalism. And journalists are not perfect.
      Neither are politicians. But politicians have parliamentary privilege. Sometimes used properly. Sometimes misused. We keep it for the benefit it can allow.
      Journalism deserves that too. So you have great stories like the Section 34 piece. But sometimes you have the story about what’s in Dana Seetahal’s will.
      Criticise the bad choices. But protect journalism for the good that it does.
      The people who wrote that bill and worked on it would probably never do anything as valuable for this society as the journalists they might muzzle.
      Like I said, criminals have no right to protection. Who does this bill comfort?

    • I’m trying to move with Jesus. I hope He makes me more patient by the next time we meet.

    • Lolol…seems we are trying to reinvent the wheel for our narrow advantages. TT is part of the global village, does this legislation exist anywhere with these restrictions Lasana Liburd, Francesca E. Hawkins?

    • Not the criminals.

      And recognizing that journalists are fallible, do you think a blanket exemption is appropriate? And how do you identify who is a journalist and who is not, so that the exemption does not expand to include everyone?

      I still await your recommendations on how to balance concerns. Please think of scenarios outside of journalism where pirating of commercial products can damage an economic sector based on IPR

      Until you propose recommendations these comments are just platitudes that do not propose a way forward.

    • We must NEVER forget emailgate

    • The above link raises a few points that could be considered in this discussion. It’s important to consider our own environment against these issues,

    • …okay.

      the specific relevance to the language in the Bill needs to be established.

      and further, if the proposed approach is a blanket exemption for journalists, we can’t move forward until you identify how we can ascertain who is NOT a journalist. You still haven’t done that.

    • The issue for journalism is safeguarding public interest, protecting sources and citizens rights to accurate information. On another note, important information can also emerge through persons who are not working journalists. The public would be quite relieved if a medical worker, for example, went to social media with documents that revealed unethical medical practice/coverup, for example, at a hospital where your child attends clinic. The issues are complex. Good to discuss, time for Saturday night, bye for now.

    • The only consideration is public interest. You either get that or you don’t.
      For some people, “public interest” and tribal interest is interchangeable.
      I hope you aren’t such a person Kwesi. And yet I want to believe you’re too intelligent not to understand what public interest means.
      Now the idea of having to go to court after every story to defend yourself before you get protection under this bill.
      Well that is like the journalist answer to stop and frisk. It is a legal means to harass and frustrate.
      Good luck. Bigger and badder and smarter than Faris have tried before.

    • And every legislation is created to fix a problem. Pray tell what problem this fixes?
      Asha, this is a curious one.

    • …and I challenge anybody here to find a legal definition of “public interest” that would facilitate a cut and dried exclusion.

      But there isn’t. Public interest is determined one case be case basis until precedent is set by the determination of a coherent underlying trend.

      In Our system of democracy, the arbiter of such questions are judges.

      It is also the public interest to protect each and everyone of us from malicious hackers who would compromise us all in the sake of profit.

      Lasagna, the person who introduced tribalism into this is you. Check yourself for your own tribal behavior.

      what public interest was served with exposing Sasha Singh’s sex life? Point being that journalists are people too, and cannot be assumed to be above malfeasance.

      Finally, not all laws are created to fix a problem. Some are created to establish an opportunity. And cybercrime is one of those, among other things.

    • Lasana Liburd Only the governmet. Never thought i’d see the day when The Rowley led adminstration would muzzle the media as they sure used it to their advantage to mash up Kamla. What’s good for the goose….. ent!!

    • Kwesi Prescod, any investigative journalist will tell you that you are never sure of what you are going to find UNTIL you start digging. Not before.
      So the best way to balance concerns would be to work with MATT to create a panel that offers advice and guidelines to investigative journalists and make such recommendations available to bloggers/citizen journalists as well.
      But it is not good for society if you stray on the side of censor. And this legislation does just that.

    • But that’s not something that would be put into a law, Lasana thats part of the administrative system to support the law.

      further, unless it is commonplace for investigative journalists to actively engage in network penetration, neither clause 8 or 12 affects you.

      If you are partaking in network penetration, you should rethink your methods because hacking is effectively breaking and entering, and unless managed/ authorized is indefensible.

    • And this bill does not censor

    • Kwesi, sometimes an errant email or copying a company document gives you the proof you need.
      It isn’t really me literally hacking into company database. But I feel such tips could also lead to prosecution under this legislation.

    • … read the provisions again – those scenarios would not lead to prosecution under this Bill.

  12. What ever hapoened to the whistleblowers legislation then?

  13. Someone should send this nonsense to anonymous … Let them accept the challenge to bring what these politicians are trying to hide into the light.

    • Let’s creste a wikileaksTT nah

    • Trinileaks.
      Lasana Liburd
      Tell them this was created in Nov 2011???

      On a Sunday
      That showed all the pnms in cahoots and deals in thievery and corruption, with journalists and lawyers.

      I guess I was the only one that opened it. Clicked on the flashing document list that held Fe’s of proof, police records, company profiles and contracts, and records on some of the biggest stories of the day, like the quarries .

      Within hours that file disintegrated wherever it was stored.

      Lasana had said, “it is Sunday, I not going to upset my lunch,”

      Long as I live, I shall remember that file. That day.
      Calling Mello to look at it cause I was trembling traumatized.

    • I don’t think I’ve ever seen that. Did you save a copy

    • Yes I did.
      Two hours after the files began to disintegrate. While Mello and I were in it reading. His started to disappear first.
      That is why I said whosever job that was , they were global experts.
      Gone. except the jacket.

    • You not reading or not comprehending. I be written twice that the content files were erased, disappeared, vanished. Despite being saved to my hard drive.

    • Meh head not so hard eh…you said his started to disappear..carry on nah

  14. I don’t see anything wrong with Clause 8 as (re)written. The concerns seem overblown. It specifically targets persons who “intentionally… accesses… without authorisation.” That language is directed at hackers, not journalists, and journalists shouldn’t be engaged in hacking (ala News International/News Corp). Note it’s not the possession of the information that’s being criminalized, but rather the hacking itself. If you ask me, Clause 12 is the more problematic of the two as it potentially would punish the authorized access by someone who later passes on the information to even another authorized person. That’s a pretty wide net.

    • Yes, I think part of S. 12 is problematic.

      The clause initially seems to address piracy or corporate sabotage. That’s cool because such is necessary in an economy based on the development and sale of information products.

      The problem is: what is a scenario where a person has no legal reason to share information that they have authorized access to with another person who is also authorized to access the info. Answer that question and, as written, the clause is more palatable.

    • Without answering that question the net seems pretty wide, but much less broadly cast than what was proposed by Anand in 2014

  15. They want to turn TNT into the next Venezuela

  16. Once they are working I in the interest of all citizens, then they will not have an issue. Otherwise journalists need to be prosecuted

  17. Of course I’m confused. That’s why I stay in the dark. The light of this lunacy could blind me.

  18. A whistleblower clause should be included to grant immunity from prosecution or litigation to those who provide information on criminal actions of state officials or white collar crime be it financial or offenses against the person.

  19. Politicians are scared that hackers can actually get access to their incriminating info.

  20. Kyon Esdelle, Clause eight:
    8. (1) A person who intentionally and without lawful excuse or justification accesses a computer system without authorisation, or by exceeding authorised access, and obtains computer data commits an offence and is liable:
    (a) on summary conviction to a fine of one hundred thousand dollars and imprisonment for two years; or (b) on conviction on indictment to a fine of five hundred thousand dollars and imprisonment for three years.
    Clause 12:
    12. (1) A person who, through authorised or unauthorised means, obtains or accesses computer data which:
    (a) is commercially sensitive or a trade secret; (b) relates to the national security of the State; or (c) is stored on a computer system and is protected against unauthorised access, and intentionally and without lawful excuse or justification grants access to or gives the computer data to another person, whether or not he knows that the other person is authorised to receive or have access to the computer data, commits an offence.
    (2) A person who commits an offence under this section is liable:
    (a) on summary conviction to a fine of two hundred thousand dollars and imprisonment for three years; and (b) on conviction on indictment to a fine of five hundred thousand dollars and imprisonment for five years.

  21. Clause eight:
    8. (1) A person who intentionally and without lawful excuse or justification accesses a computer system without authorisation, or by exceeding authorised access, and obtains computer data commits an offence and is liable:
    (a) on summary conviction to a fine of one hundred thousand dollars and imprisonment for two years; or (b) on conviction on indictment to a fine of five hundred thousand dollars and imprisonment for three years.
    Clause 12:
    12. (1) A person who, through authorised or unauthorised means, obtains or accesses computer data which:
    (a) is commercially sensitive or a trade secret; (b) relates to the national security of the State; or (c) is stored on a computer system and is protected against unauthorised access, and intentionally and without lawful excuse or justification grants access to or gives the computer data to another person, whether or not he knows that the other person is authorised to receive or have access to the computer data, commits an offence.
    (2) A person who commits an offence under this section is liable:
    (a) on summary conviction to a fine of two hundred thousand dollars and imprisonment for three years; and (b) on conviction on indictment to a fine of five hundred thousand dollars and imprisonment for five years.

    • Bill explanatory note:
      Clause 8 seeks to create the offence of illegally acquiring computer data. This offence would carry a fine of one hundred thousand dollars and two years’ imprisonment on summary conviction or a fine of five hundred thousand dollars and three years’ imprisonment on conviction on indictment.
      This clause also seeks to create the offence of receiving or gaining access to computer data knowing that it is obtained illegally, and would carry the same penalty as that of the offence of illegally acquiring computer data.

      Clause 12 seeks to create the offence of the unauthorised grant of access to computer data that is commercially sensitive or a trade secret, which relates to the national security of the State, or which is stored on a computer system and is protected against unauthorised access.
      This offence would carry a fine of two hundred thousand dollars and three years’ imprisonment on summary conviction or a fine of five hundred thousand dollars and five years’ imprisonment on conviction on indictment.

  22. What does the clause say?

  23. Earl Best

    Valid comments and concerns,of course, as all can see.But my problem with MATT is that it is vocal only when there are direct, undisguised threats to the freedoms that the media must enjoy if they are to have any chance of discharging their responsibilities as the Fourth Estate and the Third Educator.

    Such behaviour is akin to taking evasive action only after an armed bandit who’s been pointing a gun at you for quite a while decides to pull the trigger.

    Why has MATT not responded, for instance, to what Terrence Farrell had to say earlier this week? Is it that they don’t think journalists are being attacked? Or is it that they have no defence to offer?