Government and the Internet | letters to the editor

It is not possible for the government to force anyone to use a merely optional tool like the Internet. Regardless of whether the entity is an individual, a company, a corporation, etc., it is the same.

Nobody is obliged to own a computer or a smartphone, and nobody is obliged to use the Internet.

The government cannot oblige anyone to hire an agent to have to go online or go through any means through the agent.

Not being online is not a crime, nor is it something to be punished for. The government cannot arrest or fine anyone for not being online. The government cannot deny anyone services or benefits because they are not online.

The government cannot rule out direct contact with the government. The government may allow different forms of submission, but cannot arbitrarily limit them to one optional form – and must respect and provide diversity for the individual’s free choice for their access to services and benefits, regardless of type.

The Internet allows for the collective review of information that cannot be managed or authorized. The Internet is not a stable and secure construct that is also vulnerable and insecure, also vulnerable to strangers.

The Internet is not under the strict control of the government. The Internet is a platform for foreign sources, and the government cannot share or co-opt with citizens without consent. The government cannot oblige anyone to do business with the government through a foreign source.

The government itself can store its information digitally, for which it is responsible, but it cannot delegate this responsibility through a second or third party and so on.

Centralizing information to make it available to everyone at once, to all government departments, is neither the role nor the format of government, nor the duty of the people to perform it, nor the way the two relate.

E Galy

Port of Spain


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