The Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) was invited to make submissions on addressing cyber-bullying, by a special parliamentary committee on Gender Base Violence (GBV), in Port Moresby.
Minister for Information and Communication Technology, Hon. Timothy Masiu in response, told the Committee said that cyber-bullying as in the case of a child, and cyber-harassment as in the case of adults, is where a person initiates and engages in an online communication or posts with the intention to bully or harass, intimidate, threaten, demean, ridicule or stalk and or cause emotional stress. “From our discussions over the past two days, it is evident from findings that records of all types of GBV cases are not shared between safe houses.
“A central case management system that links safe houses and allows sharing of records is a vital component of our solution in this instance.” Mr Masiu stated. Mr Masiu further proposed the development of a mobile App that builds on such a case management system and allows stakeholders and especially GBV and Cyber GBV victims to communicate in real time and get a response in record time, as a way forward.
Governor for National Capital District and one of the parliamentary Committee members, Hon Powes Parkop, requested if DCIT could immediately initiate the process as there was an urgent need in data collection for GBV victims and survivors online, as this will address the justice delivery well. “The victims of GBV can easily register their complaints on line and the next day it pops up on the magistrate computer as a case of submission in court for urgent hearing depending on the nature of the case so the victim must be served quickly on real time.” Mr Parkop said.
Secretary of the Department of Information and Communication Technology, Steven Matainaho added, “instead of victims of GBV fill in a manual paper, we can develop an app so the GBV victims can submit their application quickly online and that will create a reporting system where eventually, we have real data figures of how many cases of GBV we’re dealing with each day.” Minister Masiu also informed the Committee that he would be taking a Digital Transformation Bill 2021 to parliament soon, which aims at protecting people against crimes online, including protecting children from pornography.
Minister Masiu has taken a policy direction (NEC Decision 40/2020) to establish a National Secure Data Exchange Platform, as such data and information of cases and victims being scattered across agencies can be locked in one space. The GBV Parliamentary Committee was impressed with what the department was doing, and is prepared to support the proposed Digital Transformation Bill when it is presented on the floor of Parliament to enact.