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FHRDC supports enactment of proposed Cybercrime Bill

July 8, 2020 12:30 pm
Human Rights Commission Director Ashwin Raj.

The Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission has supported the enactment of the proposed Cybercrime Bill (2020).

In its submission to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights the Commission has recommended that the moral and legal imperatives of this legislation be balanced with the States human rights obligations under the Fijian Constitution and its obligations under international law.

Director Ashwin Raj also recommended that Fiji considers ratification of the Convention on Cybercrime or the Budapest Convention to ensure compliance with normative instruments.

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Raj adds it is also important to prioritize awareness and advocacy given the profound legal and human rights ramifications of the proposed Bill.

In his submission to the Standing Committee Raj also recommended that it is important to strengthen the capacity of law enforcement agencies and the private sector in addressing the issue of intermediary liability.

The Convention on Cybercrime or the Budapest Convention, on which the Cybercrime Bill 2020 is premised, entered into force in 2004.

It is the sole legally binding international multilateral treaty that addresses internet and computer-related crime such as infringements of copyright, computer-related fraud, child pornography and violations of network security.

Raj says even though Fiji has not ratified the Budapest Convention, it is imperative to note that the proposed Cybercrime Bill includes the most salient features of the Budapest Convention and aligns to the requirements of the Convention on Cybercrime.

In consonance with the Convention, the Bill introduces offences against the breach of confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and computer systems.

These include the unauthorised access to computer systems, unauthorised interception of computer data or computer systems, unauthorised acts in relation to computer data and computer systems and unlawful supply or possession of computer system or other device, or computer data. It also introduces other computer related and content related offences such as computer-related forgery, extortion and fraud and child pornography, identify theft, theft of telecommunication services, disclosure during an investigation and the failure to provide assistance.

The Bill also introduces procedural measures and remedies in relation to cybercrime-related offences and the protocols governing the collection of electronic evidence and international cooperation.

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