The Ministry of Youth and ICT, in conjunction with International Telecom Union (HIPPSA), has initiated a process to draft Rwanda’s data protection, cyber security policies to improve the country’s ICT legal and regulatory frameworks, taking into account the global socio-economic and legal challenges.
This was disclosed at a meeting held in Kigali yesterday.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Ida Jallow, the ITU Regional Officer for Africa, said that there was need for a common legislation to ensure cyber security and data protection
“With the increasing use of computers and the high level of penetration for internet has posed a high risk of cyber crime to the users, people can get access to your data or credit card. The major aim of the meeting is to discuss three aspects of data protection, electronic transactions and cyber crime and also share experiences on what is happening in other countries,” Jallow said, adding that there was need to train the Police on how to investigate cyber crimes.
“People should be able to access internet or use computers without fear of the risks involved, and this can be achieved through a proper legal framework. For example, if someone hacked into your computer and there is no law to hold him or her liable, Police cannot take on the case.”
She argues that everybody in Africa has been a victim of cyber crime in one way or the other.
“As long as you have an email and have received a spam, you have been a subject of cyber crime because you are supposed to send and receive information that you need. But if you start receiving messages that you don’t need, that is an indicator. There is also need to harmonize laws because the crime is cross-border so that criminals can be penalized the same way.”
Backing her argument, Prof. Marco Gercke of the Cyber Crime Research Institute, said that there were various forms of cyber crime, adding that all computer users around the world have fallen victim.
“If you have ever got a virus on your computer or a spam message on your email, sexually explicit materials, racist propaganda, and instructions for the fabrication of incendiary, then you a victim,” he explained.
Emmanuel Dusenge, a senior engineer in charge of ICT Infrastructure Development, said that Rwanda has not registered serious cases of cyber crime however the country was on the alert.
“People should have confidence and trust with the ICTS being used, that’s why we ensure security of any undertaking in the country. We have to make sure that we always review some of the regulatory frameworks to make sure that we are secure,” he said.
By Sarah Kwihangana