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The emergence of globalization and trade liberalization has brought about a dramatic change in the security of Fiji's environment, says Acting Minister for Defence and National Security and Immigration Joketani Cokanasiga.
He revealed this while opening the 2nd Cyber Crime workshop at the Fiji Police Academy in Suva today.
Cokanasiga said this has created a borderless state bringing with it new security concerns and diverse implications like transnational crime, money laundering, human and drug trafficking and terrorism.
With the involvement of the Solicitor General Office, cabinet has approved in principle the drafting of cyber security law and the development of a legal framework to guide and assist Fiji to monitor and report illicit cyber related activities to the Fiji Police Force.
“The lack of resources and capacity are familiar limitations in our joint efforts to provide adequate measures against this rather international criminal act probing our shores,” he said.
As a follow up to the first Cyber Security Workshop that was held in Nadi last year, stakeholders recognized the importance of establishing policy framework.
He said formulation of legislation with respect to information sharing and formation of security standards across all local agencies, regional and international cooperation.
The workshop also provided investigative assistance and common substantive and procedural provisions to protect ourselves in our quest for development against the misuse of information and communication technology (ICT) for criminal or other societal purposes.
“Island states like Fiji are vulnerable to cyber crime activities arising from a number of factors.”
He said these are the technical complexity of cyber crimes, the sophisticated nature of electronics, and lack of inadequate legislation to monitor cyber crime activities and a high level of skills and expertise required to investigate and prosecute cyber crime.
“The most horrendous of these crimes are organized ones; seeking to take advantage of those using the internet services for financial gain, threat to the most vulnerable members of our society, child pornography, identity theft, terrorist use of internet and coordinated cyber-attacks against information infrastructure.”
Whilst there are studies that shows ICT is an enabler for economic growth, studies also show that the illicit use of ICT can have a debilitating impact on our critical infrastructures, affect our social and economic development, national security and stability of a country.
With this he said that it was understood that security could not be a government owned-only responsibility.
To make this defence work, he said the full participation of the private and government sectors is critically vital.
Guest speaker Dr Marco Gercke from Germany said Fiji needs to be informed and equipped because it is a hub of the Pacific region.
Gercke said if it is successful in Fiji, it will also have an impact in other island states in the region as they learn from Fiji.
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