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Kingston, Jamaica (McN) – Assistant Commissioner of Police Clifford Chambers warns the Jamaican public that their actions to post obscene images on social media and other social share platforms, with intention of defaming and extorting a person, may land the poster and sharer of the photos, messages, voice notes and videos in jail.
Under the cybercrimes legislation, if convicted of the act, offenders could be fined and imprisoned for posting and sharing defamatory materials.
“It is the discretion of the court [but] quite frankly it depends on the magnitude of the issue. We know people have been convicted for 12 years at hard labour, we know people have been convicted for six months with a fine, so it is left up to the flexibility of the judge, having heard the evidence,” Assistant Commissioner of Police Clifford Chambers told the media.
Chambers added there is no mandatory minimum sentensing in these cases when brought before the court. Time in prison for the offender would be based on the severity of the incident (s), evidence brought before the court, and the presiding Judge.
CYBERCRIMES ACT OF 2015
Section 9 (1)
- “a person who commits an offence by using a computer wilfully with intent to send to another person any data (whether in the form of a message or otherwise) that is obscene, constitutes a threat, or is menacing in nature; and intends to cause, or is reckless as to whether the sending of the data causes annoyance, inconvenience, distress, or anxiety, to that person or any other person can be fined not exceeding $4 million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding four years, or both, by a parish judge if the person is a first offender.
- If damage is caused as a result of the commission of the offence, the person may be fined $5 million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both in a parish court.
- In the case of a conviction on indictment before a Circuit Court, a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or both is recommended
- If damage is caused as a result of the commission of the offence, a fine or imprisonment for a term not excneeding 15 years, or both is recommended in the Circuit Court.
- Additionally, in the case of a second or subsequent offence, regardless of whether or not any damage is caused, a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 20 years is recommended.”
Commissioner Chambers revealed the use of computer data for malicious purposes and extortion are the heads daily complaints the Cybercrime Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force receives.