Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 22nd 2013 Contents A9
Saturday, June 22, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
in Phnom Penh
The use of this country s Mutual Legal
Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with the United
States might be of questionable value in
answering key questions related to the
The head of a Chilean human rights
body with knowledge of the use of MLAT
in procuring online information is caution-
ing that such an approach can conflict with
domestic legislation and might lead to a
breach of rights.
Claudio Ruiz, director of the Chile-based
NGO, Digital Rights (Derechos Digitales),
which specialises in internet free-expression
issues, believes the use of MLAT is "prob-
lematic" since requests can sometimes be
inconsistent with either US or domestic
law, depending on the grounds on which
requests are made.
He cited a recent case in which the iden-
tity of a blogger whose tweets parodying
a wealthy Chilean businessman, using a
pseudonym, was traced following a request
by the government of Chile. That matter
is now the subject of an international
human-rights campaign on the grounds of
its inconsistency with the protection of
Google policy adviser for the Asia/Pacific
region Lokman Tsui, meanwhile, says the
company responds "very carefully" to con-
cerns raised by governments about poten-
tially harmful or unlawful internet con-
The Google official said in an interview
with T&T Guardian the Internet giant was
committed to transparency in all its oper-
ations and was prepared to work with gov-
ernments and "in harmony with domestic
He said he was unaware of any attempt
to use any international mechanism such
as MLAT to get to the bottom of the current
e-mail issue raised by Opposition Leader
Keith Rowley, which, he said, was in a part
of the world in which he did not have
However, the Google adviser said such
an approach could be used to source infor-
mation for criminal investigations.
An earlier T&T Guardian story quotes a
well-placed source as saying Google can
"facilitate a request from T&T to access
its servers in a bid to authenticate the 31
e-mails if it is done through the right chan-
nel such as the MLAT or a joint investi-
T&T s MLAT with the United States
came into force in 1999.
Tsui said Google is usually guided by
domestic legislation in determining the
required actions, which include removal of
content from its several platforms, including
videos uploaded to YouTube.
However, he said an objector would need
to meet clear criteria. YouTube content
removal, for example, must relate to content
that is defamatory or contravenes copyright,
trademark and other legal standards.
Other concerns include privacy, imper-
sonation, harassment and cyberbullying,
threats, and "hateful content."
Between 2009 and 2012, there had been
a single, official "content removal request"
from T&T--- details of which have not been
revealed in successive Google Transparency
reports except that it related to ten separate
Ruiz said the role of the Google Trans-
parency report is important, though
"detailed information about it is just avail-
able for selected countries and therefore it
is not always feasible to know specific
details about the governments requests
"For instance," he added, "we may need
to know how many of them (requests) are
related to prosecutors requests and court
orders and other legal demands."
After a low turnout at a meeting on Tues-
day, Port-of-Spain mayor Louis Lee Sing
and executive members of the city corpo-
ration have scheduled another meeting for
Westmoorings residents to air their views
on the corporation s plan to build a recre-
ational park in the neighbourhood.
The mayor held a meeting on the West
Park Savannah site but "only a very small
gathering" turned out according to an e-mail
from WebAd, a Westmoorings-based adver-
tising agent that sends unsolicited advertise-
ments relating to T&T businesses via e-mail.
"The agenda was to present the intentions
of the corporation as well as to listen to the
opinions and thoughts of the residents about
the proposed park.
"However, due to the fact that many were
not aware of this meeting, there was only a
very small gathering, and as a result, the
mayor has scheduled another meeting, to be
held on Thursday, June 27, at 6 pm sharp,"
the e-mail said.
The meeting is scheduled to be held at
what will become the West Park Savannah
although Lee Sing was said to be trying to
get use of the hall of the International School
of Port-of-Spain as the venue.
The agenda would be "to hear the plans
of the PoS City Corporation, to listen to com-
ments, concerns and suggestions of the audi-
ence and residents, and to form an initial
committee to plan and implement the West
Park Savannah," the e-mail said.
It said: "Please keep this date free and
come out to support this initiative, as well
as to have your opinions heard. This is an
important meeting as whatever happens on
that site will impact us all."
The central government had, in 2002,
planned to construct two government sec-
ondary schools on the 31-acre parcel of land,
which is opposite West Mall.
Three Moruga hunters have been
ordered to serve 40 hours of com-
munity service for having wild
meat during the closed hunting
season. They were also ordered to
pay a fine of $1,500. The hunters
were also held with a protected
Renwick and Shervon Stoute,
along with Adolphus Blackwell,
reappeared before Magistrate Indar
Jagroo in the Princes Town court
They were jointly charged with
two counts of having a lappe in their
possession during the closed hunt-
ing season and one charge of having
a protected animal, a yellow-footed
tortoise in their possession on June
19 at Saunders Trace, Moruga.
When they appeared before
Jagroo on Thursday, the three men,
all of St Mary s Village, Moruga,
pleaded guilty to the charges laid
by honorary game warden Pretam
Jagroo deferred sentencing to yes-
He ordered each of the three men
to pay $500 or serve 30 days in jail
for having the two lappe and the
The magistrate also ordered them
to report to the community service
department to serve 40 hours of
The carcasses of two lappe and
a living yellow-footed tortoise were
taken to court yesterday.
Jagroo ordered that the two Lappe
be destroyed and the tortoise
Game wardens were expected to
release the tortoise in the Trinity
Hills Game Sanctuary, Guayagua-
yare late yesterday.
The hunting season in Trinidad
is closed between April 1 and Octo-
ber 30, which makes it an offence
to hunt or have possession of any
On Thursday, court prosecutor
acting Sgt Prescott read the facts
in the case.
He said around 6.10 pm on
Labour Day game warden I Richard
Ramlogan, PC Omardath, Khemraj
and honorary game wardens Dar-
ren Naggassar, Jah Kristo and Nir-
mal Ramtahal were on patrol on
Saunders Trace when they stopped
a red Lada Riva with ten hunting
dogs in the trunk.
While searching the car, the war-
dens found the two carcasses which
bore large chop wounds.
In the trunk they found the pro-
tected tortoise hidden among the
The three men were arrested and
taken to the St Mary s Police Post
and charged with the offences.
Minister of the People and Social Development, Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh, presents a gift
to Rajesh Durbal, the first triple amputee in the world to finish the Hawaii Iron Man World
Championships, during a courtesy call at the ministry on Thursday. PHOTO: KEARRA GOPEE
Be wary of using
MLAT in e-mail probe
Lee Sing plans
for wild meat
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Chilean human rights body warns:
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