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Belize Government looking at legislation to tackle misuse of social media

Published:Saturday | February 25, 2017 | 12:00 AM

The Belize government is moving to clamp down on the misuse of the social media and is establishing a taskforce to look at the issue of cyber laws, Solicitor General, Nigel Hawke has said.

“We’ve just discussed that there’s a committee set up that is looking at the issue of cybercrime legislation but it’s at the stage where it’s just a number of multi-sectoral groups which have been discussing the issue with the view of coming up with a final policy position to take to Cabinet for approval,” he said.

“At some stage there will be some cybercrime bill or cyber security bill.  That is the hope, but it’s still on the horizon,” he said, adding that it is hoped that it may take another two or three months before a proposal or a policy is placed before Cabinet.”

Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte said the authorities have to make sure the “laws that we write and propose for passing are, you know, comprehensive”.

He said he spoke with the Director of Public Prosecutions earlier this week “and we are looking into seeing if we can amend, make a simple amendment into the criminal code for right now to tackle minors being on Facebook or social media.

“If you were to prosecute everybody who had a bad thing to say about somebody else on Facebook everybody would be in jail or get  sued because that’s all social media is used for, bashing people and outing people.

“But we have to make sure that when crimes are being committed or things that are of such an indecent nature that it upsets us that we have to find the laws to address it,” he added.