laws to tackle cyber crimes
By Quintus Perera
Local and international call charges have fallen drastically following
the liberalization of the telecommunication interconnectivity to
around Rs 25 per minute from Rs 130 to 125 per minute, said Sumathi
Dharmawardena, Legal Advisor to the Telecommunications Regulatory
Commission (TRC) of Sri Lanka
Speaking at the monthly meeting of The Sunday Times Business Club
on telecommunication regulation, he said after the liberalization
of the international telecom market in February 2003, the TRC issued
33 licences which included two wireless land line operators, three
mobile operators, Facility based Data Operators and new entrants.
said that when two telecom networks interconnect, each operator
levies charges to the other for calls terminated in their network
and in this market the cost that the new entrant has to pay the
incumbent operator is much higher than vice versa.
disparity in interconnection charges and the imposition of highly
unfair commercial terms to new entrants made the market competition
difficult. Therefore, the World Trade Organization has set out principles
pertaining to it.
Under these principles interconnection must be provided at any technically
feasible point in the network, on non-discriminatory terms, rates
and of a quality no less favourable than for the incumbents own
supply, in a timely fashion and on terms that are transparent and
reasonable and on an unbundled basis so that a buyer does not pay
for unnecessary services.
also senior state counsel at the Attorney General’s Department,
said that major operators tend to create market barriers to new
entrants and in order to minimize creating these barriers TRC has
incorporated a mechanism to intervene when parties fail to come
to an agreement. He said it is mandatory for TRC to resolve disputes
between operators. The in-built dispute resolution by TRC has encouraged
operators to use this instead of going to Courts in the first instance.
of cyber crimes, Dharmawardena said like the other crimes it consists
of people, transactions, commerce, money -- all of which constitute
crime and it affects almost everybody who uses the Internet and
in many cases also those who do not.
said one of the key elements that keeps most members of any society
honest is fear of being caught but the Internet has changed it as
it offers the criminal an opportunity of attacking his victims from
the remoteness of a different country or continent and the results
of the crime are not immediately apparent.
said according to a Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), computer-related
crimes, including viruses and spyware, cost US businesses a staggering
$ 67.2 billion a year.
said that the herculean task of combating cyber crimes would be
to educate the citizens of the world about the complexities of cyber
crimes and how to fight against these crimes. This task also includes
making Internet users aware of their rights and duties as visitors
of cyber space.
said that to combat cyber crimes in Sri Lanka a bill has now been
introduced in parliament. Trans Asia Hotel and Lion Breweries Ltd
were sponsors of the meeting.