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US withdraws claim that Jamaica monitoring citizens' online activities

Published:Friday | July 3, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The United States government has withdrawn an assertion made in a publication of the State Department that Internet freedom in Jamaica was under threat as the Government has been monitoring private online communications without appropriate legal authority.

A day after de facto Information Minister Sandrea Falconer denied the allegations and challenged the United States to prove them, the US State Department amended the online report to indicate that "there were no credible reports that the Government monitored private online communications without appropriate legal authority".

The US Embassy in Kingston issued a statement saying: "An inaccuracy was published in the Internet Freedom subsection of the 2014 Jamaica Country Report on Human Rights Practices. The US Department of State has now corrected the report."

It said further: "When there are inaccuracies, the Department of State documents these errors online and issues corrections to ensure the integrity of the reports."

Speaking at a Jamaica House press briefing on Wednesday, Falconer said the Government was not aware that any monitoring of private online conversations was taking place.

daraine.luton@gleanerjm.com