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Cyber crime lawson the cards,says Minister

By Julien Neaves

IN two months, Trinidad and Tobago could have legislation to deal with cyber crime laid in Parliament, reported Minister of Science and Technology Dr Rupert Griffith.

He was speaking with the media yesterday during the lunch break of the second and final day of the 26th Executive Council Meeting and 15th General Conference of Ministers, co-presented by the Government and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) at the Hilton Trinidad, St Ann's.

CTU has 20 member countries and some of those in attendance were Dominica, Anguilla, Belize, Barbados, Jamaica, Suriname, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia by teleconference.

Representatives of the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) also attended.

CTU secretary-general Bernadette Lewis reported that the union has developed, in collaboration with a number of other organisations, a cyber security framework for the region that assists countries to put the necessary systems in place to protect their digital assets. "You cannot deal with cyber security on a national basis. It is a global phenomenon," she stressed.

Griffith noted that each country is at a different stage in this process, with Jamaica having cyber crime legislation in place. Also at the meeting the Jamaican government signed an agreement with the ITU to assist with issues in cyber crime.

For Trinidad and Tobago, Griffith reported that the draft legislation is before the Legislative Review Committee. "Hopefully within the next month or two, it would be going before Parliament to enact the legislation," he said.

He noted that this country is looking at best practices around the world regarding cyber crime. "It's a global problem today and it is one that Trinidad and Tobago and all of the (CTU) members are looking into, and we are ably helped by the ITU as far as this is concerned," he added.

United Nations ITU area office representative for the Caribbean Cleveland Thomas reported that Trinidad and Tobago is playing a very active role in the area of legislation, liberalisation and cyber crime.

Trinidad and Tobago has held the CTU presidency for the past four years, with Griffith currently holding that post, Lewis commenting "we've been very fortunate to have very capable leadership of the union".

She noted that at the meeting they will be electing officials for the next two-year term.

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