Electronic Crimes Bill (update)

The much bally-hooed Electronic Crimes Bill, which passed through the lower house on Friday, is carded for debate in the Upper House of Grenada’s parliament next Wednesday July 10th. NOW Grenada publishes a government press release reports that

However, because of the outpouring of concern Government has given the assurance that it is committed to looking at the section to ensure that in no way free internet comment is either inhibited or by any slightest measure, threatened.

A statement from the Government Information Service said that Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell has asked his legislative team to review all sections of the bill to ensure that it remains consistent with his commitment of not just protecting open debate and dialog, but to reflect the new commitment to broaden patterns of democracy that will be reflective in other upcoming legislation.

“We are confident that at the end of the process we will have legislation that will deal with issue of cyber crime, identify theft, child pornography and electronic stalking without infringing, or undermining public debate or any matters attendant to an open, free and democratic society,” said the statement.

(Emphasis mine – - – for comic relief)

The report goes on to mention that the other bills being debated are the Electronic Filing Bill, 2013Electronic Transactions Bill, 2013Electronic Transfer of Funds Crimes Bill, 2013 and Electronic Evidence Bill, 2013. Given the very well-known fact that literally NO ONE in the government or judiciary of Grenada – irrespective of party affiliation – knows anything about computers, the internet, electronic communications or social media, I am at a loss as to how they are going to establish such legislation. This is the equivalent of having a virgin manage a whorehouse or a Catholic priest teach marriage counselling – what the hell they know about the subject matter to be able to tell me (promiscuous and divorced) what to do? These are people who, rather than conduct government business from a secure government mailserver utilising our country domain, do so instead with their personal email addresses like jonahoverboard@live.com [<--- Inside Grenadian joke]. You telling me about this Grenadian government?

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Freedom of Expression

From the Constitution of Grenada (which seems to have already taken care of bad-talking mofos):

10.-(1) Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom to receive ideas and information without interference, freedom to communicate ideas and information without interference (whether the communication be to the public generally or to any person or class of persons) and freedom from interference with his correspondence. (2) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent, that the law in question makes provision- a. that is reasonably required in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health ; b. that is reasonably required for the purpose of protecting the reputations, rights and freedoms of other persons or the private lives of persons concerned in legal proceedings, preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, maintaining the authority and independence of the courts or regulating the technical administration or the technical operation of telephony, telegraphy, posts, wireless broadcasting or television ; or c. that imposes restrictions upon public officers, and except so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

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