September 8, 2006 (LBO) – A bill to counter computer crimes is stuck in parliament for over a year, illustrating the daunting task facing those who try to modernise laws to take Sri Lanka towards a digital age, officials said Friday. The law was first debated in August 23, 2005 but has since been blocked at the parliament’s Standing Committee on Law, while problems relating to translating the bill into three languages, is being thrashed out.
In Sri Lanka, laws have to be printed in English, Sinhala and Tamil, with the Sinhala text usually taking precedence over others in case an interpretation is disputed.
“The basis of the computer crimes bill is to criminalise attempts at unauthorised access to a computer, computer program data or information,” Sri Lanka’s Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told participants of the National IT Law conference organized by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka.
“The legislation creates offences for unauthorised modification, alteration or deletion of information and denial of access.”
It makes unauthorised access to computers an offence, and criminalises the use of viruses and logic bombs to damage computers.
The problem IT specialists face in taking Sri Lanka’s laws to