Federation to Enhance Competitiveness through ICT

Delegates of last week’s ITU Conference and local Government officials

Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 26, 2010 (SKNIS): The Region is one step closer to enhancing competitiveness through the harmonization of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policies, legislation and regulatory procedures after a four-day workshop in St. Kitts and Nevis, last week.

Representatives from 15 countries participated in the consultation workshop, organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as part of the HIPCAR project designed to support ICT development. The delegates reviewed Information Society issues dealing specifically to Privacy and Data Collection, Cybercrime and Access to Public Information.

Project Coordinator Kerstin Ludwig said the workshop was “very good and successful” based on the hard work of the plenary and the draft model legislative texts that were produced. The text and other documents should be presented to Heads of Governments later this year to be reviewed, debated and eventually passed into law.

Ms. Ludwig stressed that it was important to have these issues addressed as it was a global problem. “A cybercriminal does not stop at the border of a particular country. It is a cross border issue, where even you can be a cybercriminal or a victim of a cybercriminal without even know it,” she disclosed.

An example of a cybercriminal is someone who looks at child pornography online. Victims of a cybercrime often include persons whose identity has been stolen, such as credit card information used by someone else who pretend to be the owner.

Ruggles Ferguson of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission in Grenada explained that the conference was critical as technology is “moving ahead at rapid speed and our laws cannot keep up,” with this tremendous pace. “If we are to approach it from an individual state stand point it would be a longtime before we can make any serious headway,” he emphasized.

The more than 50 participants were a combination of technical persons and legal minds from Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and host country St. Kitts and Nevis.

Mr. Furgerson said the exchange of information was enriching and delegates have a clearer understanding of the issues and the way forward as it comes to addressing Information Society development.

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