Mmegi Online :: A call to toughen cyber crime laws
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Last Updated
Friday 27 May 2016, 11:15 am.
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A call to toughen cyber crime laws

Looking to deter cyber attacks in the country and send a strong message to would-be offenders, the government is working on ways to toughen laws against perpetrators of cyber crime.
By Isaac Pinielo Thu 26 Mar 2015, 17:39 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: A call to toughen cyber crime laws








General Counsel in the Office of the President, Advocate Abraham Keetshabe said cyber attacks can destroy the economy of any country and halt the provision of basic services.

Speaking at the cyber security and internet summit that was held in Gaborone recently, he said there is need to severely punish offenders and send a strong message to would-be offenders that they will be heavily punished should they dare commit cyber crime.

The Cybercrime and Computer Related Crimes Act came into force in 2007 and it deals with crime perpetrated through computer systems. It covers unauthorised access to a computer or computer system, unauthorised interference with data, accessing a computer system with intent to commit an offence, and generally deals with cyber fraud.

According to Keetshabe, the Act has been identified for review as a priority under the first phase of the e-legislation programme of the government.  “Cyber crime by its nature knows no boundaries and may collapse the economy of any country,” he stressed.

He called for the alignment of the law with international conventions on cyber security, noting that progress in the development of a legislative framework has been slow despite noticeable achievements.

He stated that the completion

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of phase one of the government e-legislation programme should pave way to the commencement of the second phase of the programme, which includes review of key financial legislation mainly to facilitate electronic commerce, and the enactment of freedom of information legislation.

Keetshabe also indicated that the development of legal and regulatory framework in this country is still at an embryonic stage with work having started in earnest in 2010.

According to the counsel, up until as recently as April 2014, no legislative framework to facilitate and enable the provision of e-services existed in Botswana.

He said laws tended to prohibit, rather than promote the use of information communication technology (ICT) to provide services.

“For example, the legislation did not provide for recognition of electronic signatures, authenticity of electronic documents and admissibility of electronic evidence, to name a few,” he said.

He revealed that these legal challenges are being addressed through the development of simple, consistent and technology-neutral legislation which recognises all ICT processes and transactions.

He added that this includes recognition of electronic signatures as a valid authentication method for electronic transactions and give confidence to consumers, the business community and government agencies participating in electronic transactions.

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