Qiliho calls to regulate cyber space

POLICE Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho has called for the regulation of cyber space.

While making a presentation during a panel discussion titled ‘Regulate Cyber Space?’ at the 19th Attorney-General’s Conference yesterday, he said a lack of relevant laws and powers was making it difficult for police to investigate cyber crime.

“The reality is that in a few years’ time, the policing landscape will shift dramatically from routine policing out on the frontline to more policing of cyberspace,” he said.

“So to answer the question of whether we should regulate cyberspace, the answer is a definite yes.”

Brig-Gen Qiliho’s comments echoed similar sentiments made by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during his opening address at the A-G’s Conference on Friday.

“From the policing perspective, the absence of cybercrime legislation, which we hope is being drafted, we are having to source from and apply laws from other relevant and relatable legislations.”

The Police Commissioner said the Cyber Crimes Unit was conducting investigations under the Crimes Act of 2009.

“These sections allow us to investigate complaints with computers and its peripherals which are used to commit an offence.

“The provision makes specific mention of computers only and is silent on other digital devices such as mobile phones which have the capacity to store data and connect to the world wide web.”

He added despite limitations with laws and limited resources, the Cyber Crimes Unit had investigated 156 cases since 2008.

Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination director Ashwin Raj said regulation of cyber space should be a priority given the types of comments and attacks on minority groups that were posted on social media platforms.

He added while freedom of expression was important, there was a need for people to express their views responsibly.

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