Only RPNGC can deal with cyber offenders

The Royal PNG Constabulary is the only mandated authority responsible in prosecuting offences under the recently enacted National Cybercrime Act 2016.

National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) CEO, Charles Punaha, made this clarification in a media conference today in Port Moresby.

His comments followed complains from elected leaders, senior public servants, prominent and ordinary citizens on the improper use of ICT services relating to the allegations of abuse, misuse and posting of highly defamatory, malicious, slanderous, and general misinformation through social media and online discussion forums and blogs.    

“Some of the allegations and statements being put out in those blogs by PNG bloggers goes beyond human decency and it is a concern to all of us, there has to be some proper awareness and education to make people aware of what they have to do,” Punaha said.  

“They are committing an offence under the Cybercrime Act.

“Currently, NICTA does not have any specific powers to order any ISP service providers to block off a website; the intention of the legislation is that because the offences are criminal in nature, the responsibility has to be given to the Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.

“NICTA will assist in events where an aggrieved person or victim of an allegation makes a formal complaint with Police for investigation, prosecution and taking the matter up to the Court and then it is up to the Court to decide to impose the penalties.”

Punaha added that discussions have already begun with 12 internet service providers to have a Standard Code of Conduct on how they can help deal with the improper use of ICT services, which breaks the Cybercrime Act.

The Act was passed in Parliament this year. 

Charles Yapumi