In a rare move by the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Governor to withhold assent, the House of Assembly opted to revisit and amend the Computer Misuse and Cybercrime Act last week to include a public-interest exemption.
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Under the draft cybercrime law, anyone who publishes unlawfully obtained information from a protected computer - defined as one containing data related to national security, international relations and financial services businesses - could face up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of US$500,000.
A bill unveiled in the British Virgin Islands that would punish the publishing of sensitive computer data with 20 years in prison should be amended to include a public-interest exception for legitimate journalistic activity, says the International Press Institute.