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sye

Dominica Broadcasting Corporation (DBS radio) decision to ban Sye’s “Doctor Finger” last week brought into sharp focus the issue of censorship in Dominica, and how calypso fans here in Dominica detest any level of interference by the State in the art-form, justifiable or not.

On the Sun’s front page article last week, station’s programme director, Shermaine Green-Brown stated that will not be the last time that the state-owned station will deem a song inappropriate for broadcast.

Of course, some persons criticised DBS’s decision, and conveniently ignore the fact that the station has a responsibility to protect itself against being sued for libel and that its management would be extremely irresponsible to act contrary to professional legal advice.

The State-owned radio station was also considering banning of two politically charged songs, which accuse the ruling party of corruption: Yakima’s “Looking for your pocket’ and Prosper’s “Ma Dominique’s garbage bin”. But after a bitterly contested general election, Dominicans are just slowly recovering and cannot be blamed for coming to the conclusion that politicians had a hand in the decision to quarantine these songs.

Nevertheless, Dominican authorities must pay close attention to other lyrics which glorify guns, drugs, violence or deviant behaviour. Calypso, as a art form have tremendous influence on the behaviour of youth, in particular, and governments have a responsibility to ensure that the values of society are respected and maintained.

And If such is the case, shouldn’t the government demand that Jamaican artists who are invited to our country to perform at various concerts have to be forced to respect our anti-narcotics laws. As far as we are aware, ganja is still an illegal drag; recently a Jamaican artist who performed at the Harlem Plaza strutted onto stage with a large ganja plant. Or does the law only pertain too certain individuals?

Dominican Artists, please take note.

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Undoubtedly frighten by the government, the Integrity in Public Office Commission appears to be no protection against the retribution for persons who have genuinely acted in the public interest.

It seems the commission is more concerned about the reputation of the persons who have been accused of corrupts acts than reports made by law abiding citizens on issues of corruption in Dominica.

Presently, most Dominicans will not risk victimization, losing their jobs or possibly incurring civil liability for exposing corruption in the public sector.

It’s obvious that the IPO Act has to be amended if it is to serve as an instrument in the fight against corruption. In addition, there is also the need for fine-tuning the system of checks and balances particularly in the office of the Auditor General and others key stakeholders, if we’re to become more effective in combating corruption.

If we do take these actions urgently, many of our regional neighbours including Dominicans at home and abroad will think that we are an immoral nation lacking the will to demand honesty and accountability from persons we have appointed or elected to take care of our business.

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internet fraud

Not too long ago I wrote post about Phishing in the Caribbean, and how that there are Signs of Phishing in Dominica.

For those of you reading this post for the first time, and have no idea what phishing is – basically, phishing is a scheme used by internet fraudster in the attempt to tick bank and credit card customers to innocently reveal their security detail so that they can gain access to the individual accounts.

The Caribbean is rapidly becoming the new phishing destination, due to the fact that most of the law enforcement agencies around the Caribbean are new to these types of internet crimes.

So how does one protect against Internet fraud and phishing?

The first and last rule is to educate yourself as to the risks; ignorance is no defense as the Judge would say. Fraudsters are becoming more and more sophisticated and so you must keep abreast of the risks and different techniques being employed.

There are some simple rules you should always remember:

  • The bank will never ask you for your PIN, password, catch-phrase or anything like that.
  • Never disclose your password or PIN to anyone.
  • Always type in the address of your bank’s or credit card company’s website.
  • Use a secure password: not your date of birth, vehicle registration, telephone number or anything associated with you that someone might easily guess.
  • Use different passwords for different secure sites.
  • Check your bank and credit card statements immediately.
  • Always know where your passport, drivers licence and social security card is, and report them lost/stolen once you’re satisfied you cannot find them.
  • Properly destroy old utility bills, bank statements and any mail which is of a sensitive nature that may contain your name and address, or that could be used as identification to open an account or gain credit.
  • Keep your important documents in a secure place and keep records of your credit card number, as well as the number to report them lost/stolen. Remember you wouldn’t have the card!

This is not an in-depth list, but should serve to bring security and the ricks of fraud home to those who never gave it a second thought. There hundreds of different measures which can be taken to improve computer security and how to protect your private information, but that’s beyond the scope of this article.

Basically, be aware and educate yourself, get training; it costs money sure, think of it this way – a car sticker , which reads “If you think Education is expensive, try ignorance.”

If you’re interested to know more about online crimes (phishing), I encourage to look-up the term in Google, there you will find hundreds of websites with updated information on online crimes and identity theft. Please don’t be one of the many who say “I had no idea” or “If only I did know…”

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