By Arthur & Castillo (info@aclaw.com)

 

I.1 E- Commerce Law

Electronic commerce in the Dominican Republic (DR), as well as electronic documents and digital signatures are governed under Electronic Commerce, Documents and Digital Signatures Law 126-02 enacted by the Executive Branch on January 18th 2002. (Hereinafter, the E-Commerce Law)

The provisions established by E- Commerce Law 126-02, are considered part of the Telecommunications Legal framework of the Dominican Republic, therefore, the regulatory and supervisory authority of Law 126-02 is the Dominican Institute of Telecommunication (INDOTEL).

Law 126-02 applies to any information in a way of digital document or electronic messages, except in cases of: International commitments by the Dominican Republic when is related to international agreements or treaties and on written warnings that by Legal provisions should be printed in some products due to the risks that imply their trading, use or consume.

The Law provides that the digital documents or data messages are legally recognizable and their legal effects, validity and mandatory force on any information contained in them will not be denied just for being digital.

I.2 Application of Legal requirements on Digital Documents and Data messages.

Pursuant Law 126-02, when any regulation requires that the information shall be written, such requirement will be satisfied by a digital document or data message if their contained information is accessible for further consultation and if they comply with the validation requirements established.

When the case relates to a Signature, the requirement will be satisfied if this has been signed digitally and the signature complies with the requirements established.

The admissibility and evidential value of digital documents and data messages according to Law 126-06, are admissible as evidential proof and have the same evidential value attained to acts under private signature established by the Civil Code and the Code of Civil Procedure.  (Art.9)

I.3 Communication of Digital Documents and Data Messages

E- Commerce Law 126-02 states that in the formation and validity of contracts the offer and its acceptance may be expressed by means of a digital document, a data message, or a data message carrier of a digital Document.

In digital documents and data messages sent, it is established that their recognition in the relation between the initiator and the receiver of a message or between the parties in a digital document, the legal effects contained in such documentation will not be denied.

The law also establishes other provisions for the communication and attribution of digital documents and data messages sent by the parties, the attribution of a data message, the presumption of origin of a message, their consistency, their duplication, their notification of reception and among others.

2.1 Digital signatures

Based on Law 126-02, the use of digital signature have the same validity and effects as a handwritten signature, if such incorporate the following conditions: a) Is unique to the person who uses it; b) it is verifiable; c) it is under the exclusive control of the person who uses it; d) it is linked to the information, digital document or message that is associated to it, in such way that if there is a change, the digital signature becomes invalid;  and  e) It is in accordance to the E-Commerce Regulations adopted by the Executive Branch.

E-Commerce Law 126-02 states that a safe digital signature is the one that can be verified in conformity to a security procedure system which complies with the requirements established by law.

2.2 Certification entities

The certification entities are those that issue certificates in relation to digital signatures of natural and legal persons by offering and facilitating the creation of certified digital signatures. In doing so, they are in charge of offering services for the registry and chronological stamping of transmission and reception of data. These entities according to Law are only authorized by the INDOTEL.

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II. Cyber crime Law

The protections and punishments against crimes and felonies carried out on the web and by the use of technologies within the Dominican Republic (DR) is regulated under the Crimes and felonies of High Technology Law 53-07, of April 23rd of 2007. (Hereinafter, “Cyber crime Law 53-07”)

The enactment of Cyber crime Law 53-07, came as a result of the greatest advances showed by the internet and the information technologies (IT) in recent decades and due to the high risk posed to the DR associated to the lack of legislation on the matter.

The aim of Cyber crime Law 53-07 is to protect the systems which use communication and information technologies and their content, including the prevention of and sanction of felonies perpetrated against these or any of their components or those carried out by means of using such technologies for damaging natural and legal persons.

In the same manner, the law provides protection for the integrity of systems that transfer data, process commercial transactions or bank transactions and commercial agreements which are deemed to be confidential and any other.

The crimes and felonies against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data and information systems are covered under Law 53-07.

Law 53-07 sanctions the following illegal acts:

  • Illegal use of access codes to get into any electronic system or database.
  • Cloning of access devices.
  • Illicit access into any electronic, computer, telematics or telecommunication system.
  • Use of data by illicit access.
  • Illicit access for third party services without paying the legitimate provider the service.
  • Fraudulent devices. Whose purpose is to be employed in the execution of Cybercrime.
  • Interception and intervention of data or signal of another, without authorization.
  • Damage and alteration of data with fraudulent intention.
  • The sabotage of electronic, computer, telecommunication or technology systems.

II.1 Content Felonies

Content felonies relate to a specific person and be an attempt to its life and properties. The attempt against human life is punished with the same penalty of an intentional homicide or involuntary homicide, when an electronic system, computer and telecommunication system is involved.

  • Theft by means of use of high technology or telecommunications.
  • Illicit obtainment of funds as well as the illegal electronic funds transfer (EFT).
  • The Fraud carried out by the use of electronic, computer or telecommunication means.
  • Extortion by the use of electronic, computer, telematics or telecommunication systems.
  • Identity theft carried out by the use of electronic, computer or telecommunication means.
  • Falsification of documents and signatures, including decrypting, decoding, deciphering, diffusing or trading with documents, signatures and digital or electronical certificates.
  • Use of equipment for invasion of privacy without a legitimate reason or authorization.
  • Illicit commerce of goods and services through the internet or any information system.
  • Defamation committed through electronic means.
  • Public injury through electronic means.
  • Sexual assault against a minor, disabled or mentally ill persons using information system.
  • Child pornography.

II.2 Telecommunication felonies

The felonies against telecommunication are punished when they are committed making use of one or more of the following actions: Fraudulent Call-back call; Redirecting of international calls; Land line theft; unauthorized call traffic diverting; illicit manipulation of telecommunication equipment; private central intervention.

III.3 Crimes and felonies against the nation and terrorism acts

The acts carried out by the use of computers, electronic or telecommunication systems that are intended against the national security of the Dominican Republic, as well as sabotage, spying or the furnishing of information are punished with 15 years to 30 years of imprisonment and fines from 300 to 2000 minimum wages.  In terrorism cases the punishment for such crimes is from 20 years to 30 years and fines from 300 to 1000 minimum wages.

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Questions about this information can be directed to Our Team (info@aclaw.com) .

This AC Law Publication is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed or used as general legal advice. Any transaction related to any of the described aspects shall require adequate legal assistance in the appropriate jurisdiction. Arthur & Castillo. © 2017. All rights reserved.