Last update: 01-Aug-2014 6:44 pm
Friday, August 01, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Publishers and broadcasters: Govt must revise Cybercrime Bill
The T&T Publishers and Broadcasters Association (TTPBA) says the Government should engage media associations and other stakeholders to redraft and revise the Cybercrime Bill as it may undermine investigative journalism. In a release yesterday, it expressed concern and disappointment in the bill and said it had the potential to muzzle the media.
“The Government has shown its willingness to discuss such issues before and we ask that it engages the TTPBA and other stakeholders again in order to work in the best interest of our democracy,” the release added. The association said it seemed no thought was given to the repercussions of a free media nor to its role as watchdogs of the nation. “We appeal to the Government to begin a round of consultation and to work with stakeholder associations so that a better way forward can be defined,” it added.
The association noted other examples of recent legislation which could threaten the work of journalists, such as the Criminal Libel and Defamation Act and the Data Protection Act. In the case of the Criminal Libel and Defamation Act, partial revisions had been made, it said, but the Data Protection Act still needed to be addressed. “The TTPBA understand the need for a Cybercrime Bill but we urge Government to strongly reconsider this and any other legislation which may ultimately result in the demise of our democracy.
“We look forward to being part of a stakeholder consultation and lending our assistance and co-operation for a revised bill,” it said.