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Cyber Security

Cybercrimes Act of Jamaica from Jamaica’s Parliament

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Jamaica’s Cybercrime Act is a law to provide criminal sanction for the misuse of computer systems or data and the abuse of electronic access. The Act aims to address legal issues concerning online interactions and the Internet that is used in Jamaica. Some of the cyber crime offences covered by the bill are cybersquatting, child pornography, identity theft/fraud, illegal access to data, and libel.

However, in most cases, it is normally called a “Bill”. It is said to be an Act to repeal and replace the Cybercrimes Act. In the Cybercrimes Act or Bill, it has procedures on how to conduct Offences, Investigations, and General Legislation laws.

Based on the Act an offender is a person who knowingly obtains, for themself or another person, any unauthorized access to any program or data held in a computer commits an offence. Based on the subsections of this Act, the penalties are applied. For, e.g.:

  • a program or data of any specifically identifiable kind; or
  • a program or data help in any specifically identifiable computer.
    • These person(s) who commits an offence under subsection(which is the examples I’ve listed above) is liable upon these.

Examples of fines.

  • In the case of a first offence, a fine not exceeding three million dollars or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or both such fine and imprisonment.
  • If any damage is caused as a result of the commission of the offence, a fine not exceeding four million dollars or imprisonment for a term not exceeding four years, or both such fine and imprisonment.

For investigations, a Digital Forensic Investigator would conduct investigations in the area of Record of Seized Material: if any computer material is seized or rendered inaccessible in the execution of a warrant under section 18(1), the person who executed the warrant shall, during the execution, or as soon as possible thereafter:

  • make a list of what has been seized or rendered inaccessible, and
  • give a copy of the list to the person who the warrant is addressed or the occupier of the premises on which the warrant is executed.

This is a short example of what the Digital Forensic Investigator would have to do when investigating data/information.

General: this Act applies in respect of conduct occurring

  1. wholly or partly in Jamaica;
  2. wholly or partly on board a Jamaican ship or Jamaican aircraft
  3. wholly outside of Jamaica and attributable to a Jamaican national or
  4. wholly outside of Jamaica, if the conducts affect a computer or data:
    • wholly or partly in Jamaica or
    • wholly or partly on board a Jamaican ship or Jamaican aircraft

The General aspect has to deal with the broader scale of the potential cybercrimes that are possible. So while a cybercrime may not necessarily have to be in Jamaica, but there could be connections with a person(s) who conduct such crime outside of the country. And having that General aspect of the Act encompasses a lot of discrepancies that can take place.

Contributed by: Daval Gregory from Jamaica. Daval is a member of the CCST Discord group from the G5 Cyber Security Foundation Ltd. Learn more about CCST (Caribbean Cyber Support Team) by visiting caribbeancst.org. CCST is a collaborative group on the Discord platform for Caribbean people in IT, from beginners to experts.

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G5 Cyber Security is a Caribbean-based company providing Cyber Security and Data Privacy services that protect businesses and families from cyber-attacks and breaches.
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