Attorney General defends new version of “Spy Bill”

Attorney General defends new version of “Spy Bill”
Attorney General Carl Bethel. (FILE PHOTO)

Attorney General Senator Carl Bethel said there is a stark difference between the Free National Movement’s (FNM) Interception of Communications Bill and what he dubbed the Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) Spy Bill.

During debate on the bill in the Upper Chamber on Friday, Bethel indicated why government will move forward with what has been understood by many Bahamians, to be a ‘Spy Bill’, introduced by the former administration.

“There’s a distinct difference … the FNM Bill is different from that from the PLP because what we’ve done is carve out what I call a bubble and zoom of privacy,” Bethel said.

“Only the most serious offenses that are indictable are going to be offenses in respect of which, an interception warrant can be applied for, not any offense.”

Bethel emphasized that the PLP’s version of the bill could have been more specific in disclosing how authorities will use it and also stated that the Bahamian public at large, really had limited understanding of it and that their privacy will not breached.

According to Bethel, such offenses under the revised bill, will be protected.

“Beneath that cone of the most serious offenses … beneath that arch, if you will, are very serious offenses under that zone of privacy,” he said.

Bethel confirmed that the bill will only address the specificity of an indictable crime.