The African Regional Working Party

Interpol has been actively fighting all levels of information technology crime including cybercrime for a number of years by organizing groups of experts in the field called “regional working parties. ”   The regional working parties consist of computer crime unit experts and are deployed in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. The European Working Party branch of Interpol was formed in 1990 and consists of representatives from a number of European states. The party meets three times a year and reviews information about information technology and related crimes.

There are several projects under this party that are ongoing among them are current and potential criminal activity and the means for investigating and detecting those crimes. Interpol also uses the information gathered for the purpose of preparing effective manuals on investigative techniques. The African Regional Working Party is currently headed by a member of the South African Police Services’ Cybercrime Unit. The chairman is assisted by a representative from Kenya and a representative from Tanzania and a technical advisor from the University of South Africa.

They have generally agreed to work closely with other Interpol groups in the sharing of information and the investigation of cybercrime. Regional Working Parties in the remaining areas are broadly similar to those found in Africa and Europe with a singular goal of enhancing cross-border co-operation between law enforcement officials. Recommendations As it is the Europe Convention on Cybercrime 2001 is the only international treaty of its kind on anti-cybercrime laws.

Advocates in favor of the convention argue that it is an effective means of deterrence since it obviously sends message to cybercriminals that they do not enjoy impunity. They also argue that the convention significantly increased the number of countries in which offenders can be detected and prosecuted. It is certainly true that while many countries have not adapted the convention they have implemented national laws similar to it and therefore it is fair to state that international co-operation has had the consequence of improving anti-cyber crime laws globally.

However, it goes without saying that if there is going to be optimal cooperation more nations are going to have to indorse either directly or indirectly the substantive and procedural legal guidelines set forth in the convention. It appears that those states subscribing to the convention are not in and of themselves problem states since: “Hackers frequently route cyber attacks through portals in Yemen or North Korea, neither of which are part of the convention. ”

The best way to combat cybercrime on an international level with a view to capturing offenders in non convention or non complying nations is by the passage of an international law that binds all sovereign nations. In order to maintain public trust and confidence in such a powerful instrument it would be necessary to limit this international instrument to serious cybercrimes such as acts of terrorism which could have the potential for prosecution under the International Criminal Court. In order for treaties like the Europe Convention on Cybercrime 2001work at an optimal level of effectiveness the private sector should become involved.

As Jody Westby notes: “When private and public sectors share and coordinate information relating to such crimes, they can each better understand how to respond and mitigate their impact. ” This method of information sharing is a means of broadening security measures. Moreover, private organizations will serve as a deterrent principle once cybercriminals are aware that they are at risk of being exposed by private members as well as public authorities. Westby explains that: “Neither government nor the private sector can address these problems standing alone.

Governments cannot solve the complex and multilayered problem of cyber security and critical infrastructure protection without the assistance of private organizations. ” Private organizations do play a vital role in the detection and stifling of cybercrime activity. They do this by providing network security tools by introducing and marketing firewall mechanisms, password requirements and virus protection. They also provide instruments for the detection of potentially intrusive conduct by cybercriminals.

By using these monitoring devices private organizations and individual users have the advantage of heightening security. The difficulty with private sector and individual monitoring is that there is very little effort to report these security breaches to the authorities. In order for the private sector to assist public enforcement reporting these suspicious security breaches will necessarily have to be reported. This is where information sharing will achieve its optimal goal of detecting, investigating and prosecuting cybercriminals.