Digest for the month of June 2019

Your monthly digest on all legal technology news happening around the Caribbean.


*         Bahamian ICT solution provider Proficient Business Services has been selected to deploy a $5.9M expansion of the CCTV surveillance program in Nassau, Bahamas. Click here to read more.

*         The National Crime Intelligence Act 2019 passed in the Senate despite the Official Opposition’s attempts to have the upper chamber accept various amendments to portions of the legislation. Ahead of its Senate passage, Attorney General Carl Bethel blasted the Official Opposition for what he called a hypocritical stance. Click here to read more.


*         Unknown perpetrators have begun to photocopy the Transport Board’s Travel Smart Cards and the police may soon get involved. Click here to read more.

*         Parents are being cautioned to monitor their children’s social media activities. Police are alerting parents to the fact that some young girls might have fallen prey to men they have met on the Internet. Click here to read more.  

*         Digital currencies are an inevitability and do not pose any additional risks so far as money laundering and the financing of terrorism are concerned. So says Sade Jemmott, General Counsel for the Barbados-based financial technology company, Bitt during her presentation titled “A Whole New World! Anti-Money Laundering in the Digital Currency Era” at the annual Bar Association Conference. Click here to read more


*         Acting Chief Justice Kaye Goodridge is urging lawyers and judges to prepare for imminent high-tech changes to the justice system – if they want to lift it out of the “Jurassic” age. Click here to read more.


*         Evidence from Whatsapp conversations were shown to the panel in the recent Court Martial during the trial of a Lieutenant of the Barbados Coast Guard. Lieutenant David Harewood was charged with knowingly communicating with Akem Waithe aka “Ellis” between August 7 and 10, 2018, via a Barbados Defence Force cellphone and knowingly communicating with a known drug trafficker sometime in January 2018. Click here to read more.


*         The Senate referred the Data Protection Bill 2019 to a select committee for further consideration after several questions were raised about some of its provisions. Click here to read more.


*         The Supreme Court of Judicature condemns the use of photographs of two Puisne Judges that have been published in a social media post captioned “Confidence in Youth Leadership-Promised Delivered” associated with a political party. Click here to read more.


*         With the installation of DNA testing equipment at the Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory (GFSL), relatives of the miners who were gruesomely murdered at Lindo Creek in 2008 may be one step closer to getting death certificates for the men. Click here to read more.


*         The Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) reported a hike in scamming reports from customers in the Mobile Money Department.
In light of the increasing reports of scams, the telephone company has taken several measures to encourage customers to stay alert of fraudsters, said Vice President of Customer Experience at GTT, Orson Ferguson. He explained that since the start of 2019, the company has ventured into an intense campaign to have customers stay alert. Click here to read more.


*         A number of cellphones were seized and five prisoners were arrested after they reportedly posted a picture of themselves on Facebook. Click here to read more.


*         A Jamaican man was sentenced to 1 year’s imprisonment after admitting to sharing an obscene video of a woman via social media. Click here to read more.



*         Chief executive officer of WiPay Alwyn Wayne believes that Jamaicans will be better off working with the latest e-commerce technology that he insists will make things much easier for their small, medium, and large companies in their daily commercial activities. The CEO described WiPay as a software technology company that developed a payment platform for banks and other financial institutions, primarily. Click here to read more.


*         Jamaica lost in excess of J$12 billion to cybercrime in 2016 alone, and, given evidence that Eastern European hackers are among those cashing in on this lucrative industry, Director of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency Colonel Desmond Edwards is describing cybercrime as the “most nefarious of the challenges” that law enforcement officials will face going forward. Click here to read more.

*         The Department of Correctional Services (DCS), in collaboration with the Organization of American States (OAS), launched the first phase of the Electronic Case Management System to be implemented in juvenile correctional centres across the island. Click here to read more.


*         Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, says the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is increasing its use of cyber forensics, ballistics and DNA evidence to strengthen its investigative processes. Click here to read more.


*         GK General Insurance, GKI, has partnered with London-based company Tokio Marine Kiln and global reinsurance advisers Willis Tower Watson to bring a cyber insurance product to market. The product, called Cyber Control, which becomes available on July 1, allows for the coverage of individuals and commercial entities with revenue below US$10 million. Click here to read more.


*         The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) says that, in addition to its new strategic goals designed to guide its navigation modernisation programmes over the next five years, it is developing guidelines to govern the operations of drones in Jamaica. Click here to read more.


*         The Information and Communications Technology Authority Act, which seeks to improve the use of technology across Government, was recently passed in the House of Representatives. The Bill, which was piloted by Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams, establishes the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Authority which is intended to promote improvements in ICT service management in the public sector. Click here to read more.  


*         There remains strong opposition to the stance taken by the government on the privacy issues and legislation surrounding the Jamaica Eye programme. National Security Minister Dr. Horace Chang remains firm that existing legislation is enough to continue the administration of the programme, but at least two attorneys-at-law believe more is needed. Click here to read more.


*         With the United States now requiring nearly all applicants for US visas to submit their social media usernames, previous e-mail addresses, and phone numbers as part of the process, Jamaica Observer reporter Racquel Porter went into the streets yesterday and asked Jamaicans: 'How do you feel about the additional US visa requirements?' She received mixed reactions. Click here read more.


*         Julian Robinson, the opposition spokesman on information and the knowledge economy says there are enough legitimate concerns about how Israeli cyber security companies operate that should prompt the Jamaican Government to be open and transparent about whether there are existing arrangements with any such firm. Click here to read more.

Trinidad & Tobago

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Debates Timeline

-        Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar in describing what the outcome of the Government’s decision to delete the controversial clause 7 of the Freedom of Information meant, stated that this was a victory for the people of Trinidad and Tobago  and that the time frame for responding to freedom of information requests will not be changed and the Attorney General will not be able to interfere with the freedom of information process. Click here to read more.


-     Civil society groups welcomed the Government's decision to withdraw the controversial clause seven of the Miscellaneous Provisions (Tax Amnesty, Pensions, Freedom of Information, National Insurance, Central Bank and Non-Profit Organisations) Bill, 2019 which was passed, with amendments, in the Senate. Click here to read more.  


-     A split Senate passed a Miscellaneous Provisions Bill to raise the pensions of top public office-holders, but without making controversial amendments to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which the Government withdrew in committee stage. Click here to read more.  


-     Attorney-at-Law Michael Rooplal said the proposed amendments to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) are a retrograde step and must be rejected. He said in this digital age there can be no justification for the proposed time extension for accessing information. Click here to read more.


-     Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi says he sees no need for consultation on amendments to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), but admitted to misjudging the response to the proposed changes. To remedy this, he circulated amendments to the Miscellaneous Provisions (Tax, Amnesty, Pensions, Freedom of Information, National Insurance, Central Bank and Non-Profit Organisations) Bill 2019 to the Opposition and members of the media. Click here to read more.


*      Given the technological infrastructure of TT, the transition into becoming a digital nation could take months, predicts Calum Cameron of Proud Engineers in Estonia. The technological requirements for the transition, he said, is the easy part. "Not only will the transition require a cultural shift, but it will also need the support of legislative and organisational amendments." Click here to read more.




Online Danger and Children in a Digital World by Mariko Kagoshima

Globally, more than 175,000 children go online for the first time every day. That is a new child every half second. This is the staggering speed at which digital engagement is growing in an era where children are becoming increasingly dependent on devices to connect with each other and with the wider world.

This online access is also increasingly taking place within a “bedroom culture”, where children use their devices in private spaces that are not always well supervised.

While this connectivity creates tremendous possibilities for children who are growing up online, it also brings significant perils. One of them is online violence. Click here to read more.

Caribbean Bar Associations, Mandatory Membership and their relevance to Attorneys-at-law in today's society

Digest for the month of May 2019