Reducing Cyber Crime within the APEC Region through Knowledge Exchange and Capacity Building

Since 2002, dot-GOV, with funding from USAID, has provided field support to a number of events to promote cyber security. The latest of a series of seminars and conferences on cyber security supported by dot-GOV was the “Second Conference of Experts and Training Seminar”, organized by the APEC e-Security Task Force and US Department of Justice. Previous events were held in Russia (2002), Thailand (2003), Bulgaria (2003), the Philippines (2004), and Indonesia (2003- 2004).

The widespread nature of cyber crime throughout the Pacific Rim has a negative impact on economic growth opportunities in each country of the region. Efforts to decrease cyber crime require specific, concerted actions to be taken by national governments, regional organizations, and the private sector. An important step in these efforts is the crafting of national legislation allowing cyber crimes to be prosecuted as criminal cases, and for properly processed electronic evidence to be treated as legitimate by a country’s justice system. In addition, a national legislative framework addressing cyber crime should include specific measures to promote greater regional and global cooperation.

Multilateral Seminar on Cyber Crime
In this context, with funding from USAID/Asia and Near East Bureau, the dot-GOV program recently provided field support to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) Crime Legislation and Enforcement Capacity Building Project and to the APEC e-Security Task Force for a multilateral “Second Conference of Experts and Training Seminar”. The seminar was held in Hanoi, Vietnam on August 25- 27, 2004, with additional assistance from the U.S. Embassy. This Seminar was a follow-on to the APEC e-Security Task Force/DOJ seminar held in Thailand, July 2003 (also assisted by dot-GOV, see a previous article for details).

A total of 90 specialists, government officials and policy makers, as well as private sector representatives from 14 Asia-Pacific region countries attended the Seminar to discuss best practices in developing cyber crime legislation and creating law enforcement cyber crime units. The APEC e-Security Task Force, members of the DOJ Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and other experts reviewed individual country and regional progress. Discussions also focused on specific problems related to the introduction of electronic evidence into court proceedings.

The seminar participants also reviewed the successes and failures of international cooperation on cyber crime prevention and explored ways of increasing collaboration. A primary objective was to ensure that the countries in the Asia Pacific region enact a comprehensive set of cyber security and cyber crime laws that are consistent with the provisions of international legal instruments, including United Nations General Assembly Resolution 55/63 (2000) and Convention on Cyber Crime (2001). The participants also discussion options for maintaining open communication channels among APEC member countries to enable improved communication flows.

Supporting the APEC e-Security Task Force
The capacity building efforts of USAID, the Department of State, and Department of Justice are helping the APEC e-Security Task Force to assume leadership in promoting cyber security, and addressing the specific problems caused by cyber crime within the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, the e-Security Task Force is following up on commitments made by APEC leaders in 2002, including the following:
• Endeavour to enact a comprehensive set of laws related to cyber security and cyber crime that are consistent with the provisions of the international legal instruments
• Identify national cyber crime units and international high-technology assistance points of contact and create such capabilities to the extent they do not already exist

Additional Bilateral Seminars for Laotians and Vietnamese Officials
Taking advantage of the multilateral seminar, two additional bilateral seminars were held for Vietnamese government officials and the Laotian delegation to the multilateral seminar. Dot-GOV provided field support for both Seminars which addressed the specific needs of each country. The seminars were held at different locations in Hanoi; on 23-24 August for Laotian officials and on 30 August-1 September 2004 for Vietnamese officials.

For the Laotians, the training covered the essential elements of cyber crime legislation, international conventions on cyber crime, strategies for drafting effective and comprehensive legislation to combat cyber crime. Topics such as computer attacks.

The Seminar for 40 Vietnamese officials focused on a draft decree on the usage of electronic authenticating services, expected to be submitted to the Vietnamese Parliament by the end of 2004. The revision of the Vietnamese criminal law aimed to promote the inclusion of articles such as terrorist acts, creation and dissemination of computer viruses, and the illegal access and use of computing and data resources. The seminars for Vietnam were delivered in cooperation with the Vietnamese Ministry of Posts and Telematics.

Local Partner
The local partner, NetNam (www.netnam.vn) was founded in 1994 by the Institute of Information Technology, the main pioneer of Internet in Vietnam, with the goal of promoting research, academic and development assistance community and Vietnamese grassroots in networking and information sharing by using sustainable technologies.

Internews was awarded the "Using ICT for Development Across the ASEAN Region" on August 27, 2003. The project lasts for 24 months (Associate Cooperative Agreement No. RAN-A-00-03-000050-00 under the dot-GOV Leader Award No. GDG-A-00-01-00009-00).





For More Information, Contact:
George Sadowsky
Senior Technical Advisor, dot-GOV
Internews Network
Tel: 202 833 5740 x 200
Email:

Alejandro Bermudez-Del-Villar
Program Associate, dot-GOV
Internews Network
Tel: 202 883 5740 x 205
Email:

Jonathan Metzger
Director, Information Technology and Applications Center
Academy for Educational Development
Email:

Related DOT-COM Activity
Asia and Near East - Using ICT for Development Across the ASEAN Region (e-ASEAN Support)
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