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Pacific tackles cybercrime laws and protection in workshops

Pacific tackles cybercrime laws and protection in key workshop

Press Release

Delegates from around the region will gather in Tonga this week to address cybercrime legislation and look at ways to protect Pacific Island citizens against computer-based offenses.

The Pacific Cybercrime Legislation Workshop, convened by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in partnership with the Australian Attorney-General’s Office and the Council of Europe, will be held 27 – 29 April at the Fa’onelua Convention Centre in Nuku’alofa.

The main aim of the workshop is to help Pacific countries develop cybercrime laws in line with international standards.

“The growing threat of cybercrime and the attacks experienced by societies around the world underlines the need for countries to put in place a comprehensive set of measures to protect their citizens,” stated Mr Siaosi Sovaleni, the Suva-based manager of SPC’s ICT Outreach Programme under the Economic Development Division.

“Measures include criminal law and criminal justice action. Currently, most island states of the Pacific region are not sufficiently equipped to protect their societies against cybercrime through criminal law, nor are they are in a position to engage in efficient international cooperation in this respect.”

Up to 70 participants from the region’s communications, justice and police departments will attend the three-day summit.

Topics on the agenda include the threat of cybercrime, international standards for cybercrime legislation, criminal and procedural law, cybercrime training for police, judges and prosecutors, and the cooperation between law enforcement and internet service providers.

Head of Tonga’s delegation, Secretary for Information and Communications Mr Paula P. Ma’u said there were important implications for Tonga’s future.

“The Government of Tonga will be implementing the Tonga-Fiji Submarine Cable Project within several months. The potential for increased connectivity and rapid electronic exchange of huge amounts of data is remarkable,” he said.

“Taking on any new ICT technology brings many benefits, but we also need to ensure our citizens are protected from crimes that can be committed through the simple use of a computer and a network.”

Delegations from each country will present the cybercrime situation in their respective states as well as recommendations for measures against cybercrime at the end of the workshop.

The workshop is being convened in response to the Tonga Declaration made after the Pacific Regional Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on 18 June 2010, which recommended the cooperation between SPC, the Council of Europe and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to develop policy and legislative frameworks to combat cybercrime and promote cyber security in the region.



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