Against the background of the recent spate of bomb threats at several of the country’s institutions, the Government is moving to introduce harsher penalties for cybercrimes and provide additional resources available to treat with the issue.
Addressing Wednesday’s post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, said Jamaica’s legislative framework is being examined with a view to strengthening it, given the increased number of threats over the past four days.
“The Cyber Security Act covers the cyber side of it. But what we are looking at now is the conduct and behaviour of individuals involved, and whether we should not amend and strengthen the Public Mischief Act and also bring this under any new legislation. But that will come from the advice of the legal teams involved,” Chang said. He informed that the various emergency operating teams will be expanded, given the increased threats.
“The teams in place have demonstrated an extremely high level of professionalism, from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch and others. But we will have to expand that team and be prepared for any eventuality,” he informed.
Chang said the procurement process for the acquisition of more explosive-detection dogs will commence to boost the numbers already available on the island.
Approximately 84 institutions, including schools, one hospital, a courthouse, a commercial shopping centre in New Kingston, the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, and Kingston Wharves Limited reportedly received bomb threats. One person has been apprehended in relation to the threats, reports of which first surfaced on November 9.