Combatting Cybercrime: National and International Cooperation

Posted April 11, 2017
Written by Mark Heyink
It highlights the emergence of Crime-as-a-Service (CaaS) and that understanding how cybercrime works on a global scale is critical to combatting it. It further emphasises the absolute necessity to foster cooperation between the public and private sectors within a country and between law enforcement agencies and governments working across borders.

It addresses the business model of cybercrime and explains how Operation Avalanche took down an international criminal business conglomerate. In their Conclusion the authors make the observation that "It takes a network to defeat a network" and that in combatting cybercrime this fact has never been more relevant. They observe the growing sophistication of cybercriminal threats and the demand for partnership-based, multifaceted and agile approaches need to go beyond the detection and disruption of cybercrime and encompass deterrence and prevention.

There is little argument with the provisions of the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill that deal with Mutual Assistance and the 24/7 Point of Contact, which, if properly implemented, will facilitate the required agile reaction to requests and cooperation cross-border. The requirement for cooperation is trite.

By its nature cooperation is a two-way street, the success of which is founded on trust. In that context it is disastrous for South Africa that internally trust between the public and private sectors has been eroded significantly by decisions made for politically expedient reasons with little concern for the economic wellbeing of South Africa and its citizens. This breakdown in national trust is equally profound on an international level where the South African government's obvious complicity in the escape of al-Bashir from international justice and its equally unlawful efforts to remove South Africa from its obligation in the International Criminal Court are well documented. While trust is notoriously difficult to restore once it has been lost, efforts must be made to recognise that we are part of an international community and even where it may be politically inconvenient, we have to comply with our obligations. Unless this fact of life is recognised and meaningful substance is given to the words of the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill in this context, it would be foolhardy to expect cooperation from other countries.

In considering the nature of cybercrime and possible approaches to it at national, business and individual level the book "Future Crimes", authorised by Marc Goodman is also recommended. The book deals with technological advances in many different forms and how the technologies may be used in perpetrating cybercrimes. As the title of the book suggests, it considers how technologies may be used in the future to perpetrate crimes. However, it also bases much of this futuristic conjecture on hard and sometimes startling facts relating to how cybercrimes have already developed and are being perpetrated.

The book is both thought provoking and valuable in considering approaches to combatting cybercrime.


©Mark Heyink 2017
www.privacyonline.co.za

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