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Sep 25, 2020

Cybercrime Bill 2020 Goes to the House

At today’s Sitting of the House, parliamentarians gave bipartisan support to several bills including the Cybercrime Bill 2020. The bill was fashioned by the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children in collaboration with the Office of the Speaker of the House, and key government departments including the Office of the Attorney General and the Central Information Technology Office. The bill has been in the making since 2017 to address cybercrime in Belize. In recent years, cybercrimes have been committed time and time again, but under the laws, it was difficult for the police department and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution to successfully bring a charge against the perpetrator.  The bill is sweeping and encompasses different layers of offenses and levels of penalties.  It also deals with cyber-bullying and other cybercrimes like pirating, identity theft, and so forth.  The bill received praise and support from members from both sides of the aisle.


Cordel Hyde

Cordel Hyde, Area Rep., Lake Independence

“No longer will anyone be allowed to take pics of someone’s private parts without their permission and publish that all over social media to harass, ridicule, embarrass or intimate or blackmail a person. No longer will anyone be allowed to threaten, publish personal or private information to extort or cause ridicule or shame to another person. No longer will anyone be allowed disseminate information they know t be false with the intent to embarrass or harm someone’s reputation. No longer will anyone be allowed to lure children into child pornography or engage in a sexual conversation with a child. No longer be anyone be allowed to arrange a meeting with a child for the purpose of abusing or engaging in sexual activity with the children even if you no take no steps to actually effect this meeting. This legislation is strong and is far reaching. If you commit any of these offence you will go to hail and you will go to jail for long and you will have to pay hefty fines.”


Wilfred Elrington

Wilfred Elrington, Area Rep., Pickstock

“I also support the bill but I have one request though, that we find a mechanism to educate the public continuously about the contents of these very important pieces of legislations well as other matters of national importance. That has been one of my greatest desires over the last twelve, thirteen years in government that we have national public radio, national public TV I call it BC-Span  where on a continuous basis we educate the Belizean pubic as to what we are going on matter of public importance.”


Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Area Rep., Collet

“We want to send the signal Madam Speaker that these cyber rimes are not joke and I agree with all the colleagues so far who have said that we need to education the population on what these crimes are because people are going about business as usual now since we have been expose to computers and social media and all of these, committing these crimes which will now be crimes against people on a daily basis and we need to let them know that it will no longer be tolerated and we need to make them know when they are caught doing this that the penalties are going to be stiff.   These cybercrime have to do with business fraud, identity theft. Those things are maybe not as prevalence in Belize as some folks know it to be in other country but it is coming because our people are being exposed more and more to the technology and this has to be stopped.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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