Unanimous support for Fiji’s accession of the Budapest Convention
AG concerned no report of causing harm by posting electronic communications received from 2019-2023

Unanimous support for Fiji’s accession of the Budapest Convention

AG concerned no report of causing harm by posting electronic communications received from 2019-2023

By Navitalai Naivalurua , Karishma Kumari
Thursday 23/05/2024
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade Manoa Kamikamica, Opposition MP Premila Kumar and Attorney General Siromi Turaga

The motion that Parliament approves the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime was unanimously agreed to in parliament, with both Government and Opposition MPs united in their support.

While supporting the motion, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade Manoa Kamikamica says this convention applies to any crimes committed via the internet and any other computer networks dealing, particularly with infringements of copyrights, computer-related fraud, child pornography and violations of network security.

He says Parliament’s endorsement further signifies our global commitment to ensuring a safe and secure cyberspace for our people.

While supporting the motion, Opposition MP Premila Kumar says Fiji, like many other developing countries, is vulnerable to cyberattacks and harmful online activities such as cyber-bullying, online shouting, harassment, stalking, as well as the use of the internet for criminal activities such as romance scams and financial and investment scams to name a few.

She says at the beginning of 2023, 87.7 percent of Fiji’s population were active online users, 59 percent were social media users, and there are about 1.28 million mobile connections active online and these numbers must have increased this year.

Kumar says it is no wonder many people are affected by cybercrime causing consumers and business owners immense financial and emotional distress and psychological harm.

She adds according to the Global State of Scams Report 2023, the financial loss due to scams amounts to a staggering $1 trillion, and only 7 percent are able to recover their funds.

The FijiFirst MP says cybercrime makes more money compared to the national economy.

While supporting the motion, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Lenora Qereqeretabua says Fiji, like most developing nations, is confronted with an ever-evolving cyber landscape, and we no longer function in isolation.

In his right of reply, Attorney General Siromi Turaga says what concerns him when he looks at the statistics from the Police is the low number of reported cases.

He says for dishonestly obtaining of dealing with personal financial information, there was only 1 case in 2019, none in 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Turaga says there was no report of causing harm by posting electronic communications by the Online Commission from 2019 to 2023.

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