Government strategises how to penalise people publicly tarnishing one’s character

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The Antigua and Barbuda government will be heading to Parliament shortly to make changes to the Electronic Crimes Act of 2013 to make it a criminal offense for people to slander or make malicious comments about someone’s character on social media or any other platform.

Legal Affairs Minister and Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin said he has already consulted with Information Minister Melford Nicholas and other Cabinet colleagues on the matter and the next step will be in the Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda.

“When you are a journalist, you must be responsible. Transform that to a person in his own persona, how can somebody sit down in their home at night or day, and because they have a problem with the individual, post all manner of disgusting things about another and there is no sort of recourse in law for that,” the AG said.

“We have been getting advice from around the world as to how we can address this matter, and we are going to address the matter. It has got to stop; we are a decent society. We cannot have people on the media cursing bad words. Not in Antigua and Barbuda, man, we can’t; we have to do what is right and set standards for our people,” the Minister said during a radio interview on Saturday.

The current Act gives the police the authority to seek and apply through the court for search warrants to obtain data from electronic devices for use as evidence, given that the evidence is likely to be stored in data on the electronic device used to commit the offences.

The offences under the current Act include: access to or interference with an electronic system or network; sending offensive messages through communication services, identity theft; electronic forgery; electronic fraud; violation of privacy; misuse of encryption; child pornography; disabling or obtaining access to a sensitive electronic system; electronic terrorism; harassment utilising means of electronic system; false websites and spam; and unauthorized access to code.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. I hope criminal charges will be brought where necessary to all and sundry not few persons. There are some in authority who slander more persons than ever on social media. LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

    • Wicked, well said.
      Nobody nuh slander, bash and cuss like the politicians dem, but we all know this will be used as a weapon on the minority.

  2. Yall want to do the most but solve crimes and corruption why you don’t try get lead on the unsolve crimes and do something beneficial with tax payers money.

  3. Offences cited in this article appear a broad ‘net’ for Police use.
    The Hon. AG will surely have taken wise council to ensure Freedom of Speech is not curtailed and punished, as is seen in some Eastern, Middle-Eastern, S. American, African & Northern countries.

  4. Watch this same amendment to the law come back and shoot certain people in their own foot. “What is good for the goose is good for the gander.”

  5. Gaston just wants to prosecute people for pointing out what a corrupt imbecile he is

  6. Nobody tarnishes anyone more than world dictator traitor tyrant liar HT Gaston Browne. He would be the 1st one to penalised.

    The so called AG chatting plenty these days I see. His master Gaston must have given him permission to speak.

    All the time when Nigel Christian was abducted, kidnapped and murdered execution style because he found out the truth behind the “forged” signatures, the useless AG Benjamin had nothing to say and up to now, Nigel Christian’s murderers are walking amongst us freely. Why is that? Smells of govt members involved.

    When Mehul Choksi was kidnapped, abducted and human trafficked (HT) to Dominica, again the useless AG Benjamin was told by his master Gaston Browne to shut up. And again, the kidnappers are still walking around freely as they like. The Bulgarian woman even gone home bout she business.

    Now this govt wants to take away our freedoms, our money and prey on us. This tyranny will not be tolerated and more events like Sunday will happen until we get our country back. I for one will live free or die trying to live free. No one owns me and no one will tell me what I can and can’t put in my body.

    World dictator traitor tyrant liar thief HT Gaston Browne and his cesspool gang must be brought to justice. Justice for Nigel Christian. Justice for Mehul Choksi. Justice for we the people.

  7. Don’t make laws in government, that you cannot live with in opposition.

    Instead of trying to stifle free speech, how about passing a law to drop the parliamentary immunity, so you all cannot go in there and maline and tell blatant lies on citizens?

  8. You Gaston must be thinking of calling an election and don’t want certain actions of you and your ministers exposed. What secrets is Asot Michael holding? There are already laws to protect individuals against slander. The last time I checked, we have lawyers who will file injunctions and challenge your law in court. We are entitled to certain freedoms in Antigua.

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