Categorized | National News

AG: ICB Will Not Breach Privacy

Amid concerns by the Privy Council concerning the recently tabled Interception of Communications Bill (ICB), Attorney General Allyson Maynard Gibson says the legislation is an important tool in curbing transnational crime and concerns about breach of privacy are false.

“Experts advise that without this crime fighting tool, drug trafficking, gun trafficking and other transnational and gang related crimes will increase and the police will be hampered in their ability to detect and investigate these crime and prosecute the criminals,” she said.

“The Bahamas joins the worldwide community – including the United States, the United Kingdom, Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and most recently St. Kitts & Nevis – to enact similar legislation permitting the lawful interception of communications. We, like they, are determined to combat the serious criminal and security threats facing our nations.”

The Bill would essentially enable the police, with the permission of a Supreme Court Judgeto lawfully intercept electronic communication of any kind, once certain clearly defined conditions are fulfilled.

“The ICB enhances protection of the privacy of law abiding citizens because it is the Supreme Court (not the Executive) that makes the determination that the communications may be intercepted. This is the first time that Bahamian law places this authority solely in the hands of the independent judiciary,” she said.

“The Supreme Court will ensure that adequate checks and balances are in place to protect the rights of privacy on the one hand and combat crime (including cyber crime) on the other. Any suggestion that this is a ‘dangerous spying Bill’ is false.”

The Bill was simply amended, she said, outside of Cabinet yesterday from a 1972 Listening Device Act (LDA).

It was during that time where communication was strictly telephone lines or snail mail, but the AG says technology has advances much more since then.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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