Government sets up team to tackle online fraudsters

If you are suspected of child pornography, computer fraud and forgery, subversion, identity theft and impersonation, cyber terrorism, and sabotage, then your days are numbered.

Such acts behind the computer will now land suspects in trouble, following the launch of the National Computer and Cyber-Crime Coordination Committee to tackle the vice in Nairobi.

The committee will also pursue those who have been publishing false information, hate messages, cyber harassment, and threatening messages online.

Its mandate will include detection, investigation, and prosecution of offences such as illegal devices and access codes, cyber espionage, and publication of false information.

All the nominees in the team will operate from Herufi House in Nairobi.

Interior CS Fred Matiang'i, who officiated the launch, said the move comes at a time when the country is preparing for the general election.

He said there are no plans to bring down the internet on election day.

The National Computer and Cybercrime Coordination Committee brings together various government agencies among them Communications Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority, and the police.

“I want to urge all the institutions in the committee to think of mass investment in cyber security,” said Matiang’i.

He said some of the serious cyber threats could lead to the collapse of banks or hacking into critical service systems.

“Many people who run government systems currently are digital strangers who make mistakes that expose many,” he said.

Matiang’i asked the team to plan a meeting with the Judiciary Training Institute to incorporate the judiciary.

He cited a case of digital migration and Huduma Namba which proved that some judicial officers were not conversant with changing technology.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said despite several challenges, including court cases, he is happy that the law is being operationalised.

“It is critical for us to see those who are misusing this space will finally be brought to book, like those who kill people on social media thus stressing families and think they will hide behind the law,” explained Mucheru.

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