Vaz to seek legislation that ensures telecoms compliance with government directives

Transport Minister Daryl Vaz will be seeking to have legislation implemented to ensure that telecommunication companies comply with an order to block a service in the interest of national security.

This after the country’s 2 telecoms providers reportedly expressed an unwillingness to block ride share apps from operating because there is no legal basis for doing so.

Mr. Vaz had issued a directive to the telecoms providers to block the ride share apps as part of a recommended ban on the service in the wake of concern about how the entities operate.

It followed the discovery of skeletal remains believed to be those of missing St. Catherine teacher Danielle Anglin.

Police said an operator attached to a ride sharing company which Ms. Anglin used admitted to playing a role in her disappearance and presumed death.

Vaz said only one telecoms company sent a formal response a week after the directive was issued.

Meantime, local ride share app entities are still allowed to operate pending the development and implementation of a regulatory framework.

There has been some confusion among members of the public as to whether the apps had been banned because they were still operational and Opposition Spokesperson on Transport Mikael Phillips had called for an explanation.

Vaz had recommended that ride share apps be banned and had issued a directive for telecoms companies to restrict access to ride share applications.

The telecoms companies have not imposed any restrictions.

There is no ban in place; the minister had only indicated his recommendation for it.

Since announcing the recommendation for a ban the operators of both local and overseas ride share apps have made contact with the government.

Mr. Vaz said while the announcement did not have the expected impact, it brought several ride-hailing operators to the table for much needed dialogue geared towards regulating and streamlining the service.

It also allowed for public sensitization of the possible dangers of using ride-sharing applications. 

Commuters are being urged to exercise caution while engaging with these apps until there is legislation in place to properly regulate the sector.


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