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Cabinet to consider traceable phones

Published:Wednesday | February 17, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter

The security forces have asked Government to put in place measures to ensure traceability of calls made from cellular phones, Prime Minister Bruce Golding yesterday revealed.

In closing the debate on the cybercrime bill in the House of Representatives yesterday, Golding said Cabinet will soon consider the request of tlaw-enforcement agents.

"The cellular phone is a wonderful thing. It has brought magic to everyday life but it has also brought magic to criminals," Golding said yesterday.

He added: "It is playing an increasingly significant role in the commission of crime. We are going to have to respond."

The prime minister told Parliament that he has asked Attorney General Dorothy Lightbourne to guide the process of Government's response.

Use authority

He said Government might either use its authority under the licences given to telecommunication carriers or enact legislation in Parliament.

"We are going to have to impose a requirement that when you go to purchase a cellphone or a SIM card, you are going to be required to produce your identification, which must be recorded," Golding said.

The cybercrime legislation, which allows for sanctions to be brought against persons who criminally misuse computer systems or make illicit electronic transactions, was passed in the House. The act has already been passed by the Senate and now awaits the governor general's assent to be made into law.

Yesterday, Golding noted that telecommunications service providers had a responsibility under the act to exercise due diligence about the use of its facilities.

"A service provider provides a highway and we are saying to the service provider, you have to police the highway ... . You are going to have to do your due diligence. You are going to have to put in your security systems because this wonderful facility that has transformed the lives of all of us is potentially lethal and, therefore, has to be handled with great care."

daraine.luton@gleanerjm.com