15 May 2018

Namibia: Cybercrime a Threat to National Security - Shanghala

Windhoek — Cybercrime remains a serious threat to the national security of countries and Minister of Justice, Sakeus Shanghala, says that Namibia has experienced its share of cyber-attacks, which prompted government to come up with a draft bill on electronic transactions and cybercrime.

Shanghala is attending the 27th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNOC) in Vienna, Austria under the theme "Criminal Justice responses to prevent and counter cybercrime in all its forms, including through the strengthening of cooperation at the national level and international level."

Speaking at the event, Shanghala reiterated Namibia's serious concern regarding the threat of cybercrime to cyber security and told the gathering, Namibia appreciate the significance of the ongoing thematic discussion, which Namibia "believe provides an opportunity to all States Parties to exchange views on related issues."

He stated that Namibia has experienced cyber-attacks in the realm of electronic banking transactions and Namibia has come up with a draft bill on electronic transactions and cybercrime, but due to rapidly evolving technologies this legislation needs to be drafted flexibly, taking into account the need for legal certainty and precision, while catering for our ability to cooperate with other States on matters of jurisdiction.

Shanghala expressed his appreciation for the work of the Inter-Governmental Expert Group on Cybercrime to conduct a comprehensive study on the problem of cybercrime and indicated that Namibia will continue supporting the group which functions as the platform for further discussions on substantive issues of cybercrime and cyber security.

"It is a reality that the longer we as States take to come up with a synergised approach to tackle this phenomenon at national and international levels, the greater the opportunities, whose activities we are trying to combat, to profit from their clandestine activities," Shanghala stated.

He further acknowledged that our main challenge currently, is the fact that we are already lagging behind the criminal networks and that a shortsighted and restrictive approach in this regard poses a serious challenge to progress. According to him, the shared objective of the States should be to find common standards that will enable effective criminalisation of cybercrime.

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