Papua New Guineas cybercrime law was formulated and drafted in 2011 as part of the general drive within the Pacific region to reform and develop the regions ICT laws. In September 2016, Parliament passed the Cybercrime Code Act.
The Cybercrime Code Act is defined as acts or omissions constituting offences committed through the use of information and communication technology, and for related purposes.
Here are some notable sections of the Act that we should all be aware of.
Section 6. Unauthorised access or hacking
This means that any person who intentionally accesses or gains entry without authorisation to the whole or any part of a protected or non-public electronic system or device, or data is guilty of a misdemeanour. The penalty for that is imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or a fine not exceeding K7, 000 or both.
Section 10. Data Espionage
A person who intentionally , whether for his own use or for the use of another person accesses or obtains protected data which is not meant for him, and which is protected against unauthorised access, is guilty of a crime. The penalty for this crime in the case of an individual is a fine not exceeding K100, 000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 years and in the case of a corporate body a fine not exceeding K500 000.
Section 15. Identity Theft
A person who intentionally uses an electronic system or device to (a) access,( b) manipulate( c) possess, (d) use or( e) transfer a means of identification of another person without the authorisation of that person is guilty of a crime. The penalty in the case of an individual would be a fine not exceeding K15 000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or both; in the case of a corporate body a fine not exceeding K100 000.
Section 17. Pornography
A person who intentionally uses an electronic system or device to:
- Produce pornography for the purpose of its distribution; or
- Offer or make available pornography for public viewing; or
- Distribute or transmit pornography to another person or the public; or
- Procure or obtain access to pornography whether or not by downloading it or transmitting it either to himself or another person for the purpose of giving effect to or facilitating the commission of any of the offences in paragraph (b) or (c) is guilty of a crime.
The penalty fir the crime in the case of an individual would be a fine not exceeding K25 000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 years or both. For the case of a corporate body, a fine not exceeding K100 000.
Section 27. Defamatory publication
A person who intentionally uses an electronic system or device to make publicly available defamatory material i.e electronic writings, images, audio, visual or audio-visual recordings to injure the reputation, profession or trade of a person or inducing other people to shun, avoid, ridicule or despise that person is guilty of a crime. Penalty for this crime in the case of an individual would be a fine not exceeding K25 000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 15 years. In the case of a corporate body a fine not exceeding K100 000.
Section 22. Cyber harassment
A person who intentionally uses an electronic system or device whether or not it is connected to the internet (with or without the aid of electronic writings, images, visual or audio-visual recordings or the change of messages) to (a) initiate, (b) facilitate, (c) participate in any communication or online discussion or posts with or regarding another person directly or indirectly with the person harassed for the purpose of –
- Coercing, intimidating, threatening, harassing, stalking, or causing emotional distress; or
- Supporting such repeated acts under Subparagraph (i)
Any person found committing the above is guilty of a misdemeanour. The penalty for this wrong doing has two categories; penalty for child offender and adult offender. For an adult offender it’s a penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years and the person charged will also be prohibited from using the ICT’s or electronic system or device for the term of imprisonment imposed plus two years.
If you find yourself being a victim of any of these acts, you can drop by your nearest police station and report the crime.
You can download the full Cybercrime Code Act document here