Parliament accepts three crucial bills, includes cybercrime bill

Maafushi MP Hussain Riza Adam. (Photo/People's Majlis)

The parliament at Tuesday’s sitting accepted three crucial bills, including the amendments to Maldives Penal Code seeking to legally criminalize acts of cybercrime.

The others accepted at Tuesday’s sitting included an amendment to the Higher Education and Training Act and the amendment to Copyright Act and related rights.

The bills were approved and subsequently forwarded to their relevant committees for reviewal.

During voting, all 81 members who cast vote for the cybercrime bill unanimously voted in favor of the amendment and approved to forward the bill to Judiciary Committee of the parliament.

The 82 members who cast vote for the other two bills unanimously voted in their favor and approved to forward them to their relevant committees. The copyright amendment bill was forwarded to Economic Affairs Committee, and the amendment bill on Higher Education was forwarded to the National Development and Heritage Committee.

Maafushi MP Hussain Riza Adam, who proposed the cybercrime bill on behalf of the government listed 10 acts that constitute for cybercrime activities, which include;

·       Unauthorized access of a computer system

·       Unauthorized access to a computer system with criminal intent

·       Unauthorized data inspection

·       Unauthorized data interference

·       Abuse of electronic devices

·       Acts of cyberviolence

·       Acts of computer-related forgeries

·       Computer-related acts of misrepresentation and fraud

·       Copyright infringement and infringement of similar rights

South-Maafannu MP Abdulla Rifau submitted the amendment bill on higher education on behalf of the state, which aimed to expand higher education opportunities, development of infrastructure and capacity of local universities.

South Maafannu MP Abdulla Rifau captured at a parliamentary sitting. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Nilandhoo MP Fathimath Saudha submitted the amendment on Copyright Act on behalf of the state during Monday’s sitting.

The amendment seeks to protect the copyright of a product regardless of its quality or content of the products, and how it is presented. The bill also seeks to protect the original proprietor of a product from unauthorized sale or rent of their property by third parties.

Nilandhoo MP Fathimath Saudha submitted the amendment on Copyright Act during Monday's sitting, July 08, 2024. (Photo/ People's Majilis)

The MP further argued the bill will expand areas of copyright protection and other rights related to it, and provide definitions for copyrighted products and the rights of the proprietors of such products. She added the bill once implemented, will enhance local artists to capitalize their content at the global market.

Besides extending the copyright protection period from 50 to 70 years in the amendment, the bill also seeks to include an additional clause under the statute that lists copyrighted content. As such the new clause will include audio visual products, audio recordings along with satellite, internet and cable broadcast contents.

The proposed amendments also introduce a penalty of between MVR 50,000 and MVR 300,000 for offenders depending on the severity of the offenses, should they violate the act.