Introduced in the Senate in February 2001, the Telecommunications Bill establishes a legislative framework for telecommunications and broadcasting services in Trinidad and Tobago, for the purpose of encouraging new providers to enter the market, thereby facilitating competition in the sector. It also provides for the formation of a Telecommunication Authority to monitor and regulate the telecommunication sector.
The Telecommunication Bill was passed with amendments in the Senate in April 2001. The House of Representatives recived the bill in May 2001 and was passed later that month. The Telecommunications Act was officially assented on the 5th July 2001 but only Parts I, II, VII, VIII and X with the exceptions of Sections 77, 81, 82, 83, 84 and 85 of the bill were in effect from 2001. The remaining parts (Parts III, IV, V, VI and IX and sections 77, 81, 82, 83, 84) were proclaimed on June 30 2004.
An interim Telecommunication Authority was set up in July 2002.
The Electronic Transfer of Funds Crime Bill 2000 was introduced in the Senate in October 2000 at the same time of the Computer Misuse Bill. in the House of Representatives. The Bill was passed with modifications in October 2000.
The main purpose of this Bill is to regulate the transfer of money through an electronic terminal by means of a card for the purpose of instructing or authorising a financial institution to debit or credit a cardholder’s account when anything of value is purchased.
The application of the Bill is limited to bank cards, credit cards or smart cards or other similar type of cards used for purchasing anything of value.
It doesn’t address the use of credit cards online.
The Computer Misuse Bill, 2000 was introduced in the Senate in October 2000 in the House of Representatives. It was passed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate in October 2000.
The main purpose of the Computer Misuse Bill 2000 is to prohibit the unauthorised access, use of or interference to any program or data held in a computer and to a computer itself.
The Bill therefore seeks to enhance computer security by giving protection to the integrity of computer systems and by providing stringent penalties for specified computer related offences.
The Computer Misuse Bill also provides enhanced penalties in case where the offence results in damage, which includes financial loss, injury, or harm.
Some of the points/issues raised by the TTCS :
- How does one ensure that computer data presented as evidence in court was the same evidence that was originally collected? Computer logs are text files and can be easily modified.
- Re: Clause 16, Police or authorised persons can contaiminate data while conducting their investigations. What is to prevent or protect against such problems?
- It is possible for someone to easily frame another person for a computer crime.
- The proposed Bill defines various computer-related offences as criminal acts. This means that the case will be tried before a jury. Would such a jury understand the technical aspects of the case?
- What happens to minors (persons under 18) under this law?
- Re: Clause 12,13, If a Trinbagoian runs a e-commerce site hosted in the U.S and a offence is committed against the site, causing momentary loss to the Trinbagoian. Under what jurisdiction is the crime prosecuted? Trinidad and Tobago The U.S?
- Email viruses such as the Love Bug can be spread by unwitting users to other computers including protected computers as defined in clause 9. Would such a person be liable under clause 9?
- Re: Access code in Clause 8, Computer hardware and software are sold with a default password that should be changed by the owners when they install it. If they don’t change the password, and an outside person notices this and notifies the owner of the hardware/software, would the someone be committing an offence under clause 8?
- Re: Clause 17, Arrest by police officer (without warrant) is controversial. This clause was removed from the final act.
Internet Security v2.1 (October 24th, 2000)
The previous edition of the Online Security document, Version 1.2 (released June 2000) was concerned with informing the home and small business user about how to secure their Internet access against intrusion by such malicious software (aka “malware”) as trojan horses, viruses and hostile scripts. Research has shown that many Internet “technologies” are both a security and privacy threat to the home and small business user, as a result several additions have been made to the information contained in this document.
The present threat to Internet users is a combination of the old (e.g. trojans, viruses, hostile scripts) and the new (e.g. web bugs, confidential data being stored in plain-text cookies, unique identification numbers, ad-ware, spyware and unauthorised transmission of the user’s personal data). Most of the problems orginate in the methods by which online advertising companies track and store data about Net surfers in order to compile statistics for more “effective” advertising. They claim it is to make the World Wide Web a better place for everyone but so far they have only caused un-necessary worries for all Net users.
This document will seek to explain some of these problems and where possible, provide solutions. It is important to note that this document is about informing users about potential Internet threats. Everyone who uses the Internet is subject to their influence in one form or the other; the chances of being victimised by these “technologies” and “malware” are directly related to user awareness of their existance.
You can view the security.pdf (228K) or you can download security.zip (205K) for offline use.
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The Digital Signatures Bill seeks to regulate the use of digital signatures and the legal framework to make them work such as the regulation of certification authorities who issue certificates to persons.
The Bill was withdrawn from Parliament. Some possible complaints :
- The bill is long, divided into 7 parts and has about 90 clauses in all which makes for very tough reading and understanding.
- The bill focused in detail on only using asymmetric encryption (using public and private keys) for authenticating signatures. What if other technologies could be used (e.g biometric recognition)?
- Clause 79 “Search and seizure (of police) without warrant” is controversial.