27 MARCH 2002
By Kurt Sansone
A Code of Practice, which is to be implemented by Internet Service Providers in collaboration with the Malta Communications Authority will ensure better protection for the ever-growing Internet community.
After eight months of discussions between the MCA and the ISP subsection of the Malta Chamber of Commerce an acceptable document has been agreed upon and in a joint press conference yesterday, the 12-point Code of Practice was launched.
The Code aims to enhance and maintain a high standard of ethical and professional practice within the ISP community, as required by current legislation.
It speaks about honesty in trading, standards of service offered to customers, fair competition, respect of confidentiality, illegal and harmful content, and dispute resolution among other things.
The Code was the next logical step to take in view of the mushrooming Internet community and the myriad of services and content being offered.
Speaking at the launch, MCA Chairman Joseph V. Tabone stressed that the Internet places local operations in a global context. He remarked that non-adherence to international norms and regulations shakes consumer confidence and may deal a serious blow to potential e-commerce initiatives.
MCA Chief Technical Officer Colin Camilleri, also present for the launch, dwelt on the need of the public to update and educate itself to be in a position to distinguish between a good and bad service. Mr Camilleri added that the choice of a particular internet service should not be based solely on price, but on quality, speed, value for money, technical competence and customer service.
The chairman of the ISP sub-section of the Chamber of Commerce, Philip Cassar welcomed the publication of the final version of the Code, which would serve to enhance business further. He stressed that it was important for users to be provided with further reassurance that their respective ISPs are committed to provide a reliable and secure service.
The Code of Practice can be viewed on the MCA website, www.mca.org.mt and on the respective ISP websites.