The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has tabled a bill in parliament that, if passed into law, will create a number of offences relating to cyber crimes.

“For the most part, the offences created and the procedural mechanisms are defined from the Budapest convention on cyber crimes,” Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Ralph Gonsalves told Parliament this week as he introduced the bill.

Among other things, the bill creates offences relating to cyber harassment and bullying, illegal accessing and remaining in a computer system, as well as illegal interception, acquisition or interference of computer data.

It also introduces identify-related crimes, computer-related forgery and fraud, violation of privacy and child pornography offences.

If the bill is passed into law, persons convicted of offences under the bill can be fined as much as EC$200,000 and jailed for up to 20 years.

Some offences are extraditable. Extradition could be sought under the Fugitive Offenders Act.

The bill is already generating some discussion among internet-based Vincentian political activists — many of them living overseas, who say that some elements of the bill are intended to extend the reach of the government to its overseas-based critics.

The bill says that a court in St. Vincent and the Grenadines has jurisdiction in respect of an offence under the act where the act constituting the offence is carried out wholly or partly in SVG or wholly or party on board a vessel or aircraft registered in SVG.

A court in SVG also has jurisdiction where the act is committed wholly or partly outside SVG by a citizen of SVG or a body corporate incorporated under the laws of SVG.

The court in SVG also has jurisdiction where the act is committed wholly or partly outside SVG by a person other than a citizen if the person’s conduct would also constitute an offence under a law of the country where the offence was committed.

Gonsalves told Parliament that given the nature of the bill, his government considers it advisable to send it to a select committee and for the public to have an additional opportunity to speak to this matter.

He said this will also give parliamentarians a chance to go through it clause by clause in a select committee and for other interested parties to make representation to the select committee.”

Gonsalves named himself, Minister of Information, Camillo Gonsalves; Minister of Works Sen. Julian Francis; Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar; Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Sen. Debbie Charles; and Attorney General Judith Jones-Morgan as members of the select committee.

Gonsalves said he doesn’t know if Leader Of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace may wish at some time to go to Parliament to name members to the select committee.

He said the bill has some important legal questions and the government is happy to have Charles on the select committee as the former teacher recently completed a law degree.

9 replies on “St. Vincent introduces cybercrime bill”

  1. All of this is fine.. But really SVG is in the dark ages in terms of IT – You may not like me saying so but its a fact. And if you don’t agree its because you are ignorant and simply have no idea. So how is this going to be policed or monitored? Other than people complaining about instances of hacking where its detected – It is not going to be detected – certainly not in SVG anyway.

    The PM is the Minister of Information – this may be a bit controversial but if you go down to the Argyle police vehicle testing station and look at all of the customer papers in the big brown box…. What sort of information system is that – Its on display – Its a fire risk and so out of date to hold records on paper..
    Come on SVG get with the program you are stepping up and playing with the big boys out there in the wider world but that’s the best you can do at home? Don’t you understand what that poor display of public records does is show that the country is so far behind the learning curve so as not to be taken seriously… Don’t take this seriously but think about it…. Are you going to have all aircraft pilots use a punch card to clock in and clock out at AIA.

    Can’t you just see it now… AIA ATC :- Speed-Bird257 (Sitting at the southern end of the runway at the holding point – ready to go) you are cleared for immediate departure… And the pilot says Billy (Co-pilot) you clock out before we left? Back they go to feed the clock out machine to the happy cheers of the passengers.

    Sorry to make fun but you really have to step it up and fast.

  2. C. ben-David says:

    Be afraid, very afraid because Big Brother will soon be watching you.

    Many people’s true identity — people like Peter Binose and yours truly — will soon be publicly revealed by the Prime Minister, Hans King, or Burns Bonadie, as others have been in he past without this intrusive legislation, followed by speedy victimization, including the seizure of their property and other assets. Anyone criticising the government will be termed a terrorist, traitor, risk to national security, or fomenting revolution. A quick arrest, speedy trial, and long prison sentence or worse will be their fate.

    Empty paranoia? Just look around the world for all the evidence needed to prove that these things can easily happen when the state is given unfettered power.

    Kenton Chance, you may soon have to relocate to the United States — the world’s only beacon for true free speech — or risk the wrath of a fascist state.

    1. Hey, you forgot that we will all be put on the “no fly list”, so when our glorious leader, Dr. Salt taxes sooo much and we can’t pay for food, many of us will not even be allowed to eat flies….The no fly list. Dr. Salt and his partners in the USA will be in heaven having us all live in a controlled Orwellian world. Remember:
      All are equal but ULP is more equal than others.

  3. C. ben-David says:

    Damn Eustace and his traitorous and unpatriotic cohort for abandoning the people and their parliament by spuriously boycotting attendance at the House of Assembly when such an important human rights bill is being debated.

    1. LoL…Yes, What a revolutionary piece of legislation that is really going to impact all our lives!

    2. Now now David, your not thinking. The NDP are creating a pressure on the ULP and causing the World to watch what is happening. Even Gonsalves used the same tactic when he was in opposition.

      Until the election fraud situation is sorted out it is immoral for Gonsalves to be passing laws in parliament. But I suppose some would say he has no morals regarding anything so we must expect such.

      At the end of the day whatever Bill they bring to parliament it will be passed regardless of if the NDP are there or not. The have the majority and can do whatever they please.

      So I suppose if they are ousted in a new election then whatever Acts they have introduced can be amended or scrapped. If they are not then that is OK because it will be what the people want, unless of course they steal the elections again.

  4. Patrick Ferrari says:

    Is this Orwellian or what.

    “We” cannot solve a gunning down in the middle of Kingstown in the middle of the day but this? What I have to say is this: Vinciman, you safe. The rest, or more specifically, who they want or do not want depending on how you look at it, are not.

  5. SVG is a laughing stock in the Caribbean, can we spell plagiarism(ULP) What a set of jokers! This Regime is unable to come up with their own ideas and therefore do the next best thing, which is so steal another Country bill, but left out certain parts. How fortunate for Vincentian to have a crook in charge, who is good at stealing and keep getting caught doing it…

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