Macau looks to cybercrime laws

The special administrative region is planning on enforcing legislation to battle online crime and pornography, after a recent scandal involving several Hong Kong artistes.

The Macau government is looking to introduce legislation to tackle cybercrime and pornography, according to a report Monday.

News site ChinaTechNews.com, citing Macao Daily News, reported a Macau official as saying that two draft laws would be finalized after taking into account opinions of different stakeholders. Macau, which has a population of about 530,000, is a special administrative region (SAR) of the Republic of China.

Zhang Yongchun, director of Macau's Justice Affairs Department, said the recent scandal in which indecent photos of some Hong Kong celebrities were made public had drummed up significant interest within the Macau SAR. With the Internet gaining popularity as a medium in Macau, putting in place legislation for cybercrime was necessary to protect the Internet community, and in particular, students, said Zhang.

ChinaTechNews.com said that Macau does not have any current laws that cover incidents such as the one in Hong Kong, but there are regulations in place that forbid the spread of erotic information on the Web.

The Macau government is not the only administration looking to enforce anti-cybercrime legislation. Late last year, the Philippine Department of Justice created a taskforce that looks at imposing punishment--ranging from prosecution to sanctions--on cybercriminals. The Philippines has a draft bill that protects against identity theft, pornography and child prostitution.

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