3 JULY 2002

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Internet child abuse under the spotlight

Government yesterday reiterated its resolve to combat child abuse over the Internet by setting up a team of specialists to study the problem and come up with recommendations by October this year.

The team incorporates individuals from various sectors of society and includes representatives of the police, Agenzija Appogg, the Malta Communications Authority and representatives of Internet Service Providers among others.

Launching the initiative undertaken by the e-Malta Commission, Justice Minister Austin Gatt emphasised that government was not going to tolerate child abuse over the Internet, whether this was of a commercial or criminal nature.

Dr Gatt spoke about a number of initiatives undertaken by government to combat abuse over the Internet. He pointed out that legislation was enacted to make child pornography a crime punishable by a prison sentence. Furthermore, software and protection filters were installed in Internet labs in schools.

Dr Gatt remarked that Malta also signed the Cyber Crime Treaty of the Council of Europe and the Malta Communications Authority only recently published a code of practice for ISPs.

The team of specialists is expected to come up with recommendations for legal changes and international co-operation. The to-do list also comprises proposals for enforcement structures, prevention and awareness mechanisms and the creation of aid programmes for victims.

The chairman of the task force is George Sammut from the e-Malta Commission. The members are, Engineer Colin Camilleri from the MCA, Inspectors Paul Cassar and Louise Vella from the Police, Philip Cassar from the ISP group, Paul Galea , Micheline Scibberas, Lawrence Zammit, all representing the Ministry for Education, Olivia Galea Seychell representing Agenzija Appogg, Claudio Grech representing the Ministry for Justice, Joe Mifsud for the Malta Press Club and Stephania Sant Dimech for the Ministry for Social Policy.

 



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Editor: Saviour Balzan
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