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ICT abusers in PNG to face prison or pay high penalty charges

The Papua New Guinea Government has now come hard on improper users of Information Communication and Technology Services and warns that a K20,000 fine or three months jail will apply under section 266 of the NICTA Act.

National Information and Communications Technology Authority announced yesterday that it will charge anyone who "lies" on social media, emails, blogs, forums including Facebook.

NICTA chief Charles Punaha said yesterday that the authority will charge or punish anyone who lies and spreads false information, or sends any content or communication that the person knows is offensive or of an indecent nature.

The authority is also investigating mobile voicemail service charges, mobile data bundle charges and mobile promotional advertising.

The Government will today launch the policy documents for cybercrime before it goes to Parliament.

"Cybercrime is a priority because of the increased comments relating to it including on social media," Communication and Informatiion Technology Minister Jimmy Miringtoro said yesterday.

"There are people who are using ICT to create negative impact on society. We have a culture that is unique to PNG where there is respect and we must protect it," Mr Miringtoro said from Bougainville.Yesterday Punaha warned that Internet-based ICT services such as email, blogs, forums, and social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others are regulated and offenders can be a punished.

He said that as the regulator for the ICT industry, NICTA has taken these consumer complaints seriously and has now invoked the necessary processes as required to investigate these complaint matters.

"Further, NICTA would also like to assure the general public that it is committed to resolving these issues amicably in the interest of consumer welfare."

Minister Miringtoro also told Post-Courier he will make an official statement today when he launches the cybercrime documents.

Post Courier
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