SADC Judges Look At Fighting Cybercrime

Judges from nine Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries yesterday began a workshop in Windhoek aimed at devising effective strategies to curb the growing threats of cybercrime.

The Southern African Regional Cyber Investigation and Electronic Evidence Workshop is the brainchild of the United States of America Embassy in Namibia.

The workshop is supported by the USA’s Department of Justice through its Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

Several prosecutors, investigators and judges from Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, the Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Namibia are attending the three-day seminar to explore legal and procedural issues involved in using electronic evidence in criminal proceedings.

The embassy has also flown in legal experts from America to introduce delegates to online investigations, forensic analysis and searching and seizing computers and cellphones involved in criminal activity.

Speaking during the opening of the workshop yesterday, the Prosecutor General Martha Imalwa singled out the yet-to-be promulgated cybercrime and electronic evidence legislation as a major future tool in the fight against cybercrime in Namibia.

“Our current challenge is that our cybercrime and electronic evidence legislation is currently in draft form and still has to be debated and argued before it can become law,” said Imalwa.

Imalwa said there is a need for standardized laws for electronic evidence.

“What is needed in today’s global economy and interlaced businesses, for both civil and criminal cases across international lines, is the establishment of a harmonized cyber law and handling of electronic evidence in order to make our fight of this scourge of crime easier as it does not confine to individual countries,” said the prosecutor general.

Imalwa stressed the importance of developing cyber security to safeguard Namibia’s security and economic wellbeing.

U.S Ambassador to Namibia Thomas Daughton said the fight against cybercrime requires coordinated efforts among all stakeholders including governments, educational institutions, business organizations and law enforcement authorities.

He was hopeful the workshop would help to foster ger law enforcement practices and build ger relationships between law enforcement agencies in the region.

“Working together makes our efforts easier and makes them more effective as we cooperate to safeguard data privacy and interdict those with criminal intent,” said Daughton.

Source : New Era