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Regional Collaboration Urged To Fight Cybercrime

Participants attending the Cybersecurity and Public Safety Symposium at the Jamaican Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on September 30.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), John Curran, is suggesting that Caribbean countries collaborate to better fight cybercrime.

Mr. Curran said issues relating to cybercrime are extremely difficult to solve globally because of the inherent nature of the Internet regarding its deficiency and accountability.

“While there is no locality to the Internet and it is not possible to know where an IP address is coming from without looking it up after the fact, it is true that a lot of business is local. A lot of folks do use their computers to talk to their local businesses [and] they do use it to talk to local government [representatives] to fill out a form. So individual governments can take that part of the problem and try to make it easier or governments can work together,” he added.

The CEO was speaking during the Cybersecurity and Public Safety Symposium, which was held from September 30 to October 1 at the Jamaican Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.

Mr. Curran noted that there is an initiative in the Caribbean for a single information technology space that could eventually provide better cooperation between governments and allow for better identification in the event of cybersecurity incidents or threats.

“You cannot solve every problem… and even if you solve the problem in Jamaica and in the Caribbean, that doesn’t prevent the outside problem. You could, for example, stop spam in the Caribbean, but when you do that you still find 80 per cent spam coming from outside of the region,” he argued.

“So it might be that you can’t solve the world’s problem, but the world doesn’t have a solution for these, they don’t; they are actually looking for successful models. Anything you do in the Caribbean that says you can make a structural improvement [and] you actually know how to fight cybercrime in the Caribbean is actually a model for the rest of the world,” Mr. Curran stated.

For her part Director of the Jamaica Cyber Incident Response Team in the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. Moniphia Hewling, urged Jamaicans to be more aware and responsible on the Internet and safeguard their personal information.

“We are now encouraging individuals to be proactive in protecting their data and to realise that they have a responsibility. Cybersecurity is real, it is present, it is here, it is no longer a foreign [phenomenon],” she emphasised.

Meanwhile, Dr. Hewling, who represented Portfolio Minister, Hon Fayval Williams, assured that law-enforcement officers are being educated and trained to deal with the problem of cybercrime in a “profound way”.

The two-day symposium, which was jointly organised by the ministry, ARIN and the Caribbean Network Operators Group, marked the beginning of month-long activities in Jamaica to commemorate International Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October.

The forum aimed to promote awareness of approaches and practical strategies to equip attendees to take action and be more effective in areas such as law enforcement; participating in regional and international trust committees; collaborating with Internet content providers to respond to cyber incidents; and collaborating with regional Internet registries, to investigate Internet-related incidents.


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