Cybercrime

The Institute, through the African Centre for Cyberlaw and Cybercrime

Prevention (ACCP), is collaborating with the Department of Information Science of

the University of Pretoria to formulate and promote a project, Lex Informatica, to

enhance the study of and disseminate knowledge about forensic science and

cybersecurity. This project promotes efforts to enhance the regulation ,use,

generation and storage of information at the personal and institutional levels, and

explores how relevant information can drive development. Information

communications technology experts are part of a programme to publicize the value

of ethical conduct in the context of social networking in the information age. The

project also aims to safeguard the cybercommunity from the effects of electronic

crime proliferated mainly through cyberscams, identity theft and other junk e-mail

fraud. A number of sensitization and training workshops have been organized in

South Africa, Ghana and Uganda, targeting university students who will

subsequently be agents within their respective communities. The theme for 2013

was the advancement of cyberlaw and information ethics in Africa and globally.

Experts in forensic and digital science and information technology, practising

lawyers, business and corporate executives and public and private sector

departments are following up on the project. A presentation was made by ACCP on

global high-technology developments in the world and their implications for Africa

at the workshop held in Pretoria.

 

The Institute through collaboration with the Council of Europe organized a training

workshop on the development and enhancement of legislation against cybercrime in

East Africa. In light of the impact of cybercrime, States in East Africa (Kenya and

Uganda) have adopted cybercrime legislation, while others (Burundi, Rwanda and

the United Republic of Tanzania) are preparing such legislation, often with support

from international or regional organizations. The workshop provided important

information in an effort to contribute to consistent and effective cybercrime

legislation in East Africa.

 

The workshop involved:

(a) Analysis of current and draft legislation of participating countries in

terms of consistency with the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, rule of

law principles and effectiveness;

(b) Elements of cybercrime enforcement strategies identified by participants.

 

The available information concerning the response to cybercrime indicates the

following concerns, as identified by ACCP:

(a) The ad hoc support normally provided is not always suitable for the

long-term process of legislative reform;

(b) Legislative gaps and inconsistency with international standards;

(c) Bias towards legislation on electronic commerce rather than criminal

justice responses;

(d) Insufficient safeguards and conditions regarding procedural powers;

(e) Lack of enforcement capabilities and strategies.

 

In this regard, ACCP/UNAFRI is seeking to create effective coalitions with relevant

institutions and experts in Africa to proactively facilitate remedial action, including

preparing effective legislation against cybercrime. Good practices developed based

on successful initiatives in controlling cybercrime in other continents has inspired

the planning of a series of workshops in Africa. Africa is expected to benefit from

support from the Council of Europe as part of a new global project to promote the

implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime.