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East Africa to fight cybercrime with CERT

o Edris Kisambira
24.05.2010 kl 18:51 | Computerworld Uganda

A plan for the five East African states of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi to set up Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) to fight cybercrime is under way, as countries involved seek to involve the ITU's help.

 

A plan for the five East African states of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi to set up Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) to fight cybercrime is under way, as countries involved seek to involve the ITU's help.

Cybercrime in Africa is growing faster than on any other continent. Meanwhile, more broadband services are opening in the continent, which means more users will be able to access the Web, translating into more viruses and spam from online fraudsters in Africa.

The East African Communications Organisations (EACO) Congress, an umbrella body of all five regulators, will pursue International Telecommunications Union (ITU) support toward the establishment of the national CERTs.

"We have agreed to set up Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) in each of the five countries in order to fight against this global threat," Patrick Mwesigwa, acting executive director of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), said recently.

Mwesigwa said that cybercrime is a growing threat that needs to be tackled as soon as possible.

"A lot of users have heard about cybercrime but do not actually know they are already suffering from its effects, like spam. But it is worse than that and we need to be ready because it is happening," said Mwesigwa, who is the new chairman of EACO.

The five regulators will also establish a collaboration framework for the national CERTs at regional and international levels.

EACO will work to establish and harmonize Internet security policies and Internet laws in the East Africa region.

EACO has also adopted a proposal for telecommunications operators to form and run sectoral CERTS and nominate representatives to sit on national CERTs.

The five member states are each at different stages of developing their Internet laws, but the laws will be uniform across the board, with just a few in-country peculiarities sticking out.

Uganda's Internet security legal framework, for example, has three sets of draft laws -- the Electronic Transactions Bill, the Computer Misuse Bill and the Electronic Signatures Bill. All three pieces of legislation are in Parliament, due to be acted on before the end of the year.

Uganda's Electronic Transactions (eTransactions) Bill is meant to facilitate the development of electronic commerce in the country, and the Electronic Signatures (eSignatures) Bill is meant to ensure transactions are carried out in a secure environment. The Computer Misuse Bill spells out computer misuse offenses like unauthorized modification of computer material.

Keywords: Security  
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