Your monthly digest on all legal technology news happening around the Caribbean.
Antigua and Barbuda
* Officials of the Antigua Commercial Bank (ACB) have put mechanisms in place to ensure the safety of accounts following several reports of suspicious activity. Click here to read more.
* Fingerprinting has proven to be the Immigration Department’s best defence against fraud, according to Immigration Minister Brent Symonette, who spoke of the stunning accuracy of fake documents being generated. Click here to read more.
* A Cabinet minister yesterday reiterated calls for web shop hold-outs to “stop hiding behind the lawyers” and pay millions in taxes due under the industry’s settlement with the government. Dionisio D’Aguilar, minister of tourism and aviation, who has responsibility for gaming, told Tribune Business that the failure to-date of four web shop chains to comply with that deal was an “annoying distraction” that all sides needed to put behind them. Click here to read more.
* The Bahamas International Securities Exchange (BISX) is pleased to announce the execution of a term sheet for a technology licensing agreement between BISX and BRX Holdings, LLC (BRXH). The agreement will allow two parties to collaborate in launching a Digital Securities Exchange in The Bahamas. The newly launched platform will allow global investors to trade programmable digital assets and securities. Click here to read more.
* The digital Bahamian dollar’s technology provider yesterday, NZIA pledged to “open up” opportunities for local start-ups and financial operators and promised: “We won’t be greedy” as it will construct a network infrastructure to facilitate the fiat currency’s nationwide roll-out to provide the platform for existing banks, payments solutions providers and future market entrants “to create new services around the CBDC” (Central Bank digital currency). Click here to read more.
* Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced plans to bring the Data Protection Act to both Houses of Parliament before the end of June. She stated that it is important that we respect people’s privacy in a world where information is shared by the minute, and every time we go on a website, we leave “digital footprints” which can be used to trace us. Click here to read more
* A new digital forensics hub in Grand Cayman will help tackle increasingly sophisticated cybercrooks both here and across the Overseas Territories. Police Commissioner Derek Byrne said Cayman and other territories were currently ill equipped to deal with the growing threat. Click here to read more.
* The Interception of Communications Act was recently amended to pave the way for call centres to legally record calls with customers, Minister of Public Telecommunications Cathy Hughes told the National Assembly. Click here to read more.
* Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government is investing in new technology to better protect the nation against cybercrime.He said while focus has been placed on conventional types of crime, Jamaica must devote resources in developing capabilities to safeguard its cyber domain. Click here to read more.
* Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck, says that the government will no longer be appealing the contentious National Identification and Registration Act (NIDS) and a new bill will be drafted, he said. Click here to read more.
* Minister of Science, Energy & Technology Hon. Fayval Williams says the Government is committed to the Open Data and Smart Cities agenda. In her address at the DevCa Caribbean Open Data Conference & Codesprint event, Minister Williams outlined several strategies the Ministry is undertaking to facilitate access to technology and connectivity to create a digital and knowledge-based society Click here to read more.
* Manchester Central Member of Parliament Peter Bunting is warning Jamaicans to be vigilant in the face of what he says could be a plan by Government to invade people's privacy, using high-end Israeli spy technology. Click here to read more.
* Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology is targeting the completion of the Data Protection Bill and ICT Act as key as priorities to be completed in the financial year. Speaking at the Global Digital Marketing Summit at the Spanish Court Hotel in St Andrew, Technology Minister Fayval Williams said these legislative initiatives are urgently needed to protect the Jamaican society while using technology. Click here to read more.
* Prime Minister Andrew Holness assured the House of Representatives that his Government will move speedily to digitalise the society, despite the setback from the Constitutional Court's rejection of the National Identification and Registration Act, which was to allow the introduction of a National Identification System (NIDS) in Jamaica. Click here to read more.
* Local banks experience nearly two cyberattacks per week on average, and in one extreme month, hackers made off with $10 million, according to the latest official data. The average losses, however, amount to just over $4 million per month. Click here to read more.
St. Kitts and Nevis
* The Regional Conference titled Digital Economy Moonshot for the Eastern Caribbean was held this month at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group headquartered in Washington, D.C. The two-day Digital Economy Conference brought together policy makers and technical teams from Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as representatives of the World Bank, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL). They are exploring ways to advance the services within the digital economy throughout the Eastern Caribbean. Click here to read more.
Trinidad & Tobago
* The High Court has ordered political leader of the People's Empowerment Party (PEP), Phillip Alexander, to pay $775,000 in damages to businessman and PNM financier Andrew Gabriel following a defamation lawsuit. Gabriel sued Alexander for defamation based on statements made on Alexander's Facebook page and on his radio programme. Click here to read more.
* Ambassador Anthony Phillips-Spencer, permanent representative of Trinidad and Tobago to the Organisation of American States (OAS) and chair of the OAS committee on hemispheric security believes more inter-regional cooperation and collaboration are needed to develop and implement smart and integrated approaches to fight new and emerging cyber threats. Click here to read more.
1. Gov’t’s Interception of Communications (Amendment) Bill has watered down vital crime prevention law by Clement J Rohee
When the PPP/C cabinet approved Guyana’s first-ever Interception of Communications Bill in mid-2008 and had me pilot it on October 17, 2008 through its various stages in the National Assembly as Bill No.19 of 2008, this was done with the clear understanding that the bill was aimed at criminalizing the use of telecommunications. The incoming law was to be a crime fighting, law enforcement and national security tool. Read more here.
2. Sensible move by Government
The Government has acted sensibly, not only in deciding against appealing the Constitutional Court’s rejection of its national identification law, but in its planned approach to crafting the replacement legislation. According to the justice minister, Delroy Chuck, the new bill will be subject to a review by a joint select committee of both houses of Parliament, before which interested parties will be able to make recommendations. That is how it ought to have been in the first place.
Read more here.
3. Huawei sanctions raise complex questions for the Caribbean by David Jessop
Being a head of government or a foreign minister is a thankless task.
Although normally advised by a small number of able civil servants and ambassadors, the pressure that senior politicians personally experience can be acute, particularly when they have to make choices affecting national security or a country’s international relations.
For small states such as those in the Caribbean, such decisions require a high degree of subtlety if the region’s diverse development, trade, investment, and security interests are to remain balanced and driven by national interests.
Read more here.