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ICT experts want laws to protect Kenya’s cyberspace

SCI & TECH
By By BENARD SANGA | May 29th 2014

Experts in Internet crime have warned that terrorists are using the country’s cyberspace to coordinate their attacks due to lack of necessary laws and capacity to deal with thriving cybercrimes.

Information Communication Technology (ICT) experts meeting in Mombasa have also said that the country’s criminal justice system lacks skills to deal with cybercrime and this is also contributing to its rampant increase.

The ICT professionals affiliated to the Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), are in Mombasa to deliberate on ICT and security in light of increased terror attacks in the country.

LEGISLATION NEEDED

“The country is lagging behind on ICT legislation and the fight against cybercrime. The rise in terrorism and fraud committed through the country’s cyberspace is costing this country alot,” said ISACA Kenya Chapter President Nancy Onyango.

Addressing the press at Nyali Beach Hotel, after opening the annual conference which will deliberate on security and cybercrimes in the country, Onyango urged the government to fast track enactment of relevant legislation.

She said this will enable the country effectively deal with cybercrime which has been found to be costing the country billions of shillings

Last year, estimates by Information, Communication and Technology Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i showed that the country may have lost up to Sh2 billion through fraud conducted by ICT savvy criminals.

However, Onyango said monies lost could be more than this estimated amounts given that most financial institutions shy away from giving correct data of the amount of money lost.

“Banks, especially, would not be willing to share exact amounts lost because they fear losing clients. Kenya is one of the country that is witnessing a robust growth in the ICT sector but legislation is lagging behind. This must be rectified for better cyberspace security,” she said.

In 2010, the government issued a directive requiring mobile operators to register all Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards failure to which the company’s chief executive officers would be held responsible for crime committed with unregistered SIM cards.

WAKE-UP CALL

Yesterday, Information, Communication and Technology Ministry Principal Secretary, Joseph Tiampati ole Musuni, said cases of terrorist attacks using cyber space have become a worrying trend.

“Recent cases of terrorist attacks on Kenya is a wake-up call on the need for enhanced cyberspace security,” he said.

Tiampati warned that the government will take action against mobile operators whose unregistered SIM cards are found to have been used to commit crimes.

The PS said ICT use has also brought inherent threats such as financial fraud or deliberate damage of critical information infrastructure.

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