Section 1 - "Short Title"

Simple Summary

In Jamaica, cybercrimes are punished under the CyberCrimes Act. The Act is a set of punishments for committing various crimes against or using computer systems.

Section 2 - "Interpretation"

Simple Summary

This section in the act defines what it means whenever it uses the following words:

"computer"

"computer service"

"damage"

"data"

"electronic communications system"

"function"

"key"

"output"

"program"

Section 3 - "Unauthorised Access to Computer Program or Data"

Simple Summary

You break Jamaica's cybercrime law if you did not get permission to access data that you know requires permission. It doesn't matter if it's for you or someone else.

For minor cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty, they can ask you to pay up to three million dollars (J$3,000,000) or send you to prison for up to three (3) years.

If you damage anything during your minor cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay up to four million dollars (J$4,000,000) or send you to prison for up to four (4) years.

If it is your second (or more) minor cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay up to five million dollars (J$5,000,000) or send you to prison for up to five (5) years.

For serious cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty of a serious cybercrime and it is your first time, they can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to seven (7) years.

If you damage anything during your serious cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to ten (10) years.

If it is your second (or more) serious cybercrime, even if you did not damage anything, the court can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to fifteen (15) years.

Section 4 - "Access with Intent to Commit or Facilitate Commission of Offence"

Simple Summary

You have broken the cybercrime law if you access data without permission and you planned to use it to commit a separate crime that already has a one (1) year prison sentence. Also, if you helped in the process of organising a cybercrime, you are wrong too.

You can still be guilty, even if the facts suggest you accessed the data with or without authorisation.

For minor cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty, they can ask you to pay up to four million dollars (J$4,000,000) or send you to prison for up to four (4) years.

If you damage anything during your minor cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay up to five million dollars (J$5,000,000) or send you to prison for up to five (5) years.

If it is your second (or more) minor cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay up to five million dollars (J$5,000,000) or send you to prison for up to five (5) years.

For serious cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty of a serious cybercrime and it is your first time, they can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to seven (7) years.

If you damage anything during your serious cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to ten (10) years.

If it is your second (or more) serious cybercrime, even if you did not damage anything, the court can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to fifteen (15) years.

Section 5 - "Unauthorised Modification of Computer Program or Data"

Simple Summary

You break Jamaica's cybercrime law if you modify a computer system's data without getting the right permission.

For minor cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty, they can ask you to pay up to three million dollars (J$3,000,000) or send you to prison for up to three (3) years.

If you damage anything during your minor cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay up to four million dollars (J$4,000,000) or send you to prison for up to four (4) years.

If it is your second (or more) minor cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay up to five million dollars (J$5,000,000) or send you to prison for up to five (5) years.

For serious cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty of a serious cybercrime and it is your first time, they can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to seven (7) years.

If you damage anything during your serious cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to ten (10) years.

If it is your second (or more) serious cybercrime, even if you did not damage anything, the court can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to fifteen (15) years.

Section 6 - "Unauthorised Interception of Computer Function or Service

Simple Summary

You break Jamaica's cybercrime law if you intentionally hijack any function or data of a computer system.

For minor cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty, they can ask you to pay up to three million dollars (J$3,000,000) or send you to prison for up to three (3) years.

If you damage anything during your minor cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay up to four million dollars (J$4,000,000) or send you to prison for up to four (4) years.

If it is your second (or more) minor cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay up to five million dollars (J$5,000,000) or send you to prison for up to five (5) years.

For serious cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty of a serious cybercrime and it is your first time, they can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to seven (7) years.

If you damage anything during your serious cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to ten (10) years.

If it is your second (or more) serious cybercrime, even if you did not damage anything, the court can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to fifteen (15) years.

Section 7 - "Unauthorised Obstruction of Operation of Computer"

Simple Summary

You break Jamaica's cybercrime law if you intentionally cause a computer system to run slowly, crash, or malfunction.

For minor cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty, they can ask you to pay up to three million dollars (J$3,000,000) or send you to prison for up to three (3) years.

If you damage anything during your minor cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay up to four million dollars (J$4,000,000) or send you to prison for up to four (4) years.

If it is your second (or more) minor cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay up to five million dollars (J$5,000,000) or send you to prison for up to five (5) years.

For serious cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty of a serious cybercrime and it is your first time, they can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to seven (7) years.

If you damage anything during your serious cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to ten (10) years.

If it is your second (or more) serious cybercrime, even if you did not damage anything, the court can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to fifteen (15) years.

Section 8 - "Computer Related Fraud or Forgery"

Simple Summary

You break Jamaica's cybercrime law if you deceitfully try to benefit yourself or someone else by changing, deleting, hiding, or tampering with data on a computer system.

For minor cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty, they can ask you to pay up to four million dollars (J$4,000,000) or send you to prison for up to four (4) years.

If you damage anything during your minor cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay up to five million dollars (J$5,000,000) or send you to prison for up to five (5) years.

If it is your second (or more) minor cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay up to five million dollars (J$5,000,000) or send you to prison for up to five (5) years.

For serious cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty of a serious cybercrime and it is your first time, they can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to ten (10) years.

If you damage anything during your serious cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to fifteen (15) years.

If it is your second (or more) serious cybercrime, even if you did not damage anything, the court can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to twenty (20) years.

Section 9 - "Use of Computer for Malicious Communication"

Simple Summary

You break Jamaica's cybercrime law if you send electronic content to anyone that is offensive or threatening, it is even worst if you intended to harass, harm them or their property.

It does not matter if the person who received your malicious content is who you wanted to get it.

Note: To avoid doubt, there are some exceptions if the content you send to someone is related to Industrial Action under the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act.

For minor cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty, they can ask you to pay up to four million dollars (J$4,000,000) or send you to prison for up to four (4) years.

If you damage anything during your minor cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay up to five million dollars (J$5,000,000) or send you to prison for up to five (5) years.

If it is your second (or more) minor cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay up to five million dollars (J$5,000,000) or send you to prison for up to five (5) years.

For serious cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty of a serious cybercrime and it is your first time, they can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to ten (10) years.

If you damage anything during your serious cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to fifteen (15) years.

If it is your second (or more) serious cybercrime, even if you did not damage anything, the court can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to twenty (20) years.

Section 10 - "Unlawfully Making Available Devices or Data for Commission of Offence"

Simple Summary

You break Jamaica's cybercrime law if you possess, receive, manufacture, import, distribute, disclose, or make available a computer, a key, or any other data or device which is primarily for committing a cybercrime.

For minor cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty, they can ask you to pay up to four million dollars (J$4,000,000) or send you to prison for up to four (4) years.

If you damage anything during your minor cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay up to five million dollars (J$5,000,000) or send you to prison for up to five (5) years.

If it is your second (or more) minor cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay up to five million dollars (J$5,000,000) or send you to prison for up to five (5) years.

For serious cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty of a serious cybercrime and it is your first time, they can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to ten (10) years.

If you damage anything during your serious cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to fifteen (15) years.

If it is your second (or more) serious cybercrime, even if you did not damage anything, the court can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to twenty (20) years.

Section 11 - "Offenses Relating to Protected Computers"

Simple Summary

If you have committed a cybercrime against a Protected Computer, it is automatically considered a Serious Crime, and you can go to prison for up to twenty-five (25) years. A Protected Computer is any computer system used in national security, for storing confidential educational material, configuring services in Industries such as communication infrastructure, Banking and Financial Services, Public Utilities, Public Transportation, Hospitals, Courts, Toll Roads, Traffic Lights, Bridges, Airports, Seaports. It also covers computer systems used in Public Safety Services such as the police, fire brigade, civil defence and medical services.

Section 12 - "Inciting, Etc."

Simple Summary

If you encourage or help to carry out a cybercrime, the court can say you are just as guilty as the main person who committed the cybercrime.

Section 13 - "Offences Prejudicing Investigation"

Simple Summary

If you know someone is being investigated for a cybercrime and you tip-off the person or release any information that could negatively affect the investigation, you’ve broken the cybercrime law.

Also, you break Jamaica's cybercrime law if you lie, hide information, try to get rid of any evidence yourself or authorise someone else to get rid of evidence important to a cybercrime investigation.

There are some exceptions to you being considered as malicious towards an investigation. For example: If you did not know that releasing specific information would negatively affect an investigation or was required by law in some other instance.

For minor cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty of minor cybercrime in this category, they can ask you to pay up to three million dollars (J$3,000,000) or send you to prison for up to three (3) years.

For serious cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty of a serious cybercrime in this category, they can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to ten (10) years.

Section 14 - "Offences by Bodies Corporate"

Simple Summary

If a corporate body commits a cybercrime, it can be charged. If someone who is responsible for operating the company was involved in the cybercrime, they could be charged also.

If someone who is responsible for operating the company did not take responsible steps towards preventing the cybercrime they can be asked to pay a fine or go to prison for up to six (6) years.

For minor cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty of minor cybercrime in this category, they can ask you to pay up to three million dollars (J$3,000,000) or send you to prison for up to three (3) years.

For serious cybercrimes:

If a Jamaican court finds you guilty of a serious cybercrime in this category, they can ask you to pay a fine or send you to prison for up to ten (10) years.

Section 15 - "Compensation"

Simple Summary

If you are convicted of a minor or serious cybercrime, the court can ask you to pay money to anyone who suffered loss because of your malicious behaviour.

If you believe you have suffered loss because of someone's cybercrime, then you can ask the court for compensation, if it’s before the person is sentenced.

Section 16 - "Interpretation and Scope of Part three (3)"

Simple Summary

In this section of the Cybercrime Act, it defines the meaning of:

“Computer material”

“The power to seize”

Section 17 - "Preservation of Data"

Simple Summary

If there is an investigation and your computer system is storing data relevant to that investigation, the police can demand in writing that you preserve the data on your computer system.

The written demand will state your name, how long you must preserve the data (the maximum is sixty (60) days) and any special requirements about how you should preserve the data.

If you fail to preserve the data as demanded, without a good excuse, you have committed an offence.

During an investigation, if you lie or try to mislead investigators, you can be asked to pay up to three million dollars (J$3,000,000) or go to prison for up to seven (7) years.

Section 18 - "Seizure and Search Warrants"

Simple Summary

The courts can demand in writing that you hand over your computer system or data relevant to a cybercrime investigation.

Section 19 - "Record of Seized Material"

Simple Summary

If local law enforcement seized your computer system, the person who seized it must make a list of exactly what they seized as soon as possible and give you a copy of that list. Also, if you want a copy of the data that was seized you have a right to get it unless it would turn out to be a criminal offence to give it to you for some strange reason.

The officer of the law who seizes a computer system has a responsibility to preserve the computer's system and its data. If anyone tries to tamper with the seized computer system, then they are breaking the cybercrime law.

If anyone uses the seized data outside of the requirements of the cybercrime law, they also break the law.

Section 20 - "Forfeiture"

Simple Summary

You can lose ownership of your computer system to the legal system through multiple instances. In some of those instances, the legal system will apply for ownership of your computer system, and you can also apply to have that ownership request revoked.

Section 21 - "Production Orders"

Simple Summary

The police can ask the court to legally force you to unlock any protected data needed for an investigation. Essentially, forcing you to give up a password required to access data important to an investigation.

The police would be responsible for protecting your password and any data you give them to help in accessing the protected data.

Section 22 - "Jurisdiction"

Simple Summary

The Cybercrimes Act applies to cybercrime activities in Jamaica, relating to any Jamaican national, whether on Jamaican land, ship or aircraft.

Section 23 - "Regulations"

Simple Summary

The Minister can make rules to help the cybercrimes act execute its purpose.

Section 24 - "Power to Amend Monetary Penalties by Order."

Simple Summary

After getting formal approval, the Minister can amend the amount of money a guilty person must pay for their cybercrime.

Section 25 - "Review of Act After Three Years"

Simple Summary

Every three years a group of government officials will review the Cybercrimes Act to keep it up to date.

Section 26 - "Repeal of Cybercrimes Act, 20I0."

Simple Summary

Forget about the old Cybercrimes Act passed in 2010, it is no longer valid.

Section 27 - "Validity of Proceedings Not Affected by Repeal."

Simple Summary

Although the Cybercrimes Act of 2010 is now invalid, any legal issues started under the old Act are still valid and will continue through the court system.

Section 28 - "Amendment of Interception of Communications Act."

Simple Summary

The definition of the word "key" was changed to include additional items such authentication, authorisation token, biometric identifier and gesture.

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