Sup­port laws gov­ern­ing cy­berspace

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

THE ED­I­TOR Sir: THE PRO­LIF­ER­A­TION of in­for­ma­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies (ICT) is mov­ing apace, and as in­ter­na­tional smart phone man­u­fac­tur­ers con­tinue their ri­valry and dom­i­nance of the ICT in­dus­try, or­di­nary in­di­vid­u­als are find­ing them­selves swept up in the never-end­ing eu­pho­ria of ‘smarter’ de­vices en­ter­ing the mar­ket.

While the flu­id­ity and con­ve­nience that such im­proved tech­nol­ogy no doubt brings to the fin­ger­tips of the or­di­nary in­di­vid­ual is much cher­ished, it would be quite re­miss for there not to be an equal ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the dan­gers which also flow in ac­cor­dance with ICTs. More and more, it is be­com­ing quite ev­i­dent that most of the ‘or­di­nary’ in­di­vid­u­als who have the world at their fin­ger­tips do not read­ily ap­pre­ci­ate the dan­gers which are con­comi­tant with such a lux­ury. Th­ese dan­gers range from hack­ing and theft of per­sonal in­for­ma­tion and iden­tity, to the cruel life-shat­ter­ing im­pact that cy­ber­bul­ly­ing can have on vic­tims.

Take, for in­stance, the re­cent case in Italy where a 31-year-old woman com­mit­ted sui­cide after a year of be­ing cy­ber­bul­lied after an ex­plicit video of her went vi­ral. Cases like th­ese re­spect no geo­graphic bound­aries and can eas­ily play out here in our is­land space, if this has not al­ready been the case.

It is with this in mind that all stake­hold­ers, in­clu­sive of Gov­ern­ment, must play their part in pub­lic-ed­u­ca­tion cam­paigns and sup­port­ing ex­ist­ing leg­is­la­tion, while push­ing for more strin­gent and com­pre­hen­sive laws that ould al­low max­i­mum re­dress to those who may be en­snared by the dark side of the web.

NOEL MATHERSON

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