The American Embassy in Windhoek together with stakeholders from Southern Africa and Namibian law enforcers this week held a workshop aimed at tackling Cybercrime in the region.
Attendants of the southern Africa Regional Cyber Investigations and Electronic Evidence Workshop received training on how best to investigate and handle cybercrime and electronic evidence.
“The masterminds behind crime, the criminals are nowadays cashing in on the opportunities given the ICT and they are taking advantage of the speed and ease that modern technology has to offer while being able to hide behind a cloud of anonymity in order to commit a wide range of crimes. We must never forget that cyber-attacks have the potential to harm society in new and far reaching ways,” said Namibia’s Prosecutor General Advocate Martha Imalwa.
“Thus opportunities such as this training intervention will assist us to take a proactive approach and gear ourselves when the ICT literate and competent criminals strike we must be ready to defend and strike back,” said Imalwa.
Participants of the workshops received training on techniques for using cyber tools and methods to investigate crime and to collect and analyse digital evidence associated with criminal networks. They were also presented information on online investigations, forensic analysis, and methods for seizing and searching computers and cellphones involved in criminal activities.
United States Ambassador, Thomas Daughton said that no one is immune to criminal gangs and organisations that use tools such as malware and botnets to obtain and exploit information, and that most criminals do so because in many instances cybercrime pays.
Daughton stressed that as much as cybercrime pays, they have the potential to threaten a nation’s security and financial health. He said that in the face of ever more sophisticated criminals, the fight against cybercrime requires coordinated effort among all stakeholders, including governments, educational institutions, business organizations and law enforcement authorities.
Namibia’s cybercrime and Electronic evidence Legislation is currently in a draft form and still has to be debated and argued before it can become a law and this poses as a major challenge.
Imalwa added that there is a need for standardized laws for electronic evidence which she said can be achieved by Namibia modelling its law with the SADC model law on cybercrime.
“The objective of the Act, is to provide a legal framework for the criminalization and investigation of computer and network related offences.”
“It aims to criminalize a wide range of illegal activities or content in line with regional and international best practices and to provide the necessary specific procedural mechanisms for the investigation of such offences and further aims to define the liability of service providers,” she added.
Imalwa also said that Cyber security plays a fundamental role in the continuing development of information technology and Internet Services and that in order to safeguard Namibia’s security and economic well being it is of utmost importance that we develop cyber security to protect information structures.