Internet Week Guyana to kick off with ICT Awareness Day

In the Caribbean, our growing inventory of web-connected gadgets is constantly changing the way that we do routine business transactions and access critical services. It is also raising interesting questions about how we can get more from information and communications technology, or ICT, while staying safe online. An upcoming ICT Awareness Day in Guyana, on October 9, aims to answer some of those questions. 

“The ICT Awareness Day is free of charge and open to the public. It is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to learn more about how to stay safe online, and how to get involved in the governance of the global Internet,” said Kevon Swift, Head of Strategic Relations and Integration at the Latin America and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC), an organisation that distributes and manages Internet number resources in the region.

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Caribbean trails global trend in automation

A technology trend known as automation could be a game-changer for developing regions, but the Caribbean is trailing global adoption.

Across the industry, the automation of network configuration and network management is already bringing tangible benefits, such as lower operating costs and centralised security. But Caribbean adoption rates have lagged behind global averages, and the promise of automation remains largely unfulfilled in the region.
 

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Caribbean Banks See Rise in Cyber Attacks

Imagine doing a routine check on your bank account only to discover that an entire month’s worth of credit had been swiped from your card. The nightmare became reality for one elderly Belizean couple, who fell victim to identity theft.
 
For Alejandro and Leandra Chulin, the story started five years ago with a troubling phone call from their son, who was at the time studying abroad. He had been trying to use their credit card but couldn’t. A few quick checks with the bank confirmed their worst fears. Someone had already maxed out the limit, racking up enough purchases to leave the Chulins in the hole to the tune of several hundreds.

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Time for Caribbean To Be Better Prepared for Cyber War

Large, well-funded and highly organized crime syndicates are behind many of the cybercrimes taking place in the Caribbean. And regional governments and security agencies are challenged to respond.  

“Today's cybercriminal is no longer just a computer geek looking to see what mischief he can create. Modern cybercriminals are increasingly being employed, trained and resourced by transnational crime syndicates,” said Sean Fouché, Information and Communications Technology Manager at CARICOM IMPACS, an agency responsible for regional crime and security.

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Caribbean courts need to be better prepared to judge cybercrimes

Judicial Education urgently needed, says Belize Chief Justice

By GERARD BEST

CAPTION: Chief Justice of Belize, Kenneth Benjamin, speaks on the opening day of the country’s first-ever national symposium on cyber security, held at Best Western, Biltmore Plaza, Belize City from April 24 to 28, 2017. Photo courtesy Caribbean Network Operators Group.

CAPTION: Chief Justice of Belize, Kenneth Benjamin, speaks on the opening day of the country’s first-ever national symposium on cyber security, held at Best Western, Biltmore Plaza, Belize City from April 24 to 28, 2017. Photo courtesy Caribbean Network Operators Group.

 

Institutions worldwide are finding it hard to keep up with the rapid pace of advance in computer-based technology. This is all the more so for courts, which are typically steeped in tradition and ponderously slow to change. Globally, systems of justice are struggling to keep track of the sophisticated, rapidly evolving operations of modern cyber crime. 

 

But one Caribbean nation is tackling the issue head on, providing an interesting pattern for other countries of the region. The nation of Belize is taking an important step in responding to cybercrime, by upgrading of the capacity of its judiciary.

 

“Cybercrime and cyber issues must now have a prominent place in judicial education,” said Kenneth Benjamin, Chief Justice of Belize. 

 

In Belize, the legislative framework already supports the admission of evidence electronically. However, no laws are yet on the books to specifically criminalise the growing incidence of Internet-based wrongdoings. 

 

A cybercrime bill is expected to come into force soon, though. With that impending legislation, the Chief Justice plans to fast track judicial education, focusing on technology developments generally and cybercrime specifically.

 

“The introduction of new laws must be accompanied by the development of policy and of regulations guiding the detection, investigation and prosecution of any alleged cyber misdeeds,” Benjamin said, adding that only a few judicial officers had already received cybercrime training to date.

 

The Chief Justice was speaking at Belize's first-ever national cybersecurity symposium, held in Belize City from April 24 to 28.

 

A special forum at the event included judicial officers and magistrates and focused on how cybercrime has been affecting the judiciary globally. 

 

The weeklong gathering was organised jointly by Belize's Public Utilities Commission and by the Caribbean Network Operators Group, a volunteer-based organisation focused on training programs to build the region’s technical capabilities and safeguard computer networks.

 

"This event marks an important milestone for the region's judiciary, and signals a new collaboration between Caribbean jurists and the region's technology community," said Bevil Wooding, a co-organiser of the event and an Internet Strategist with US-based non-profit firm, Packet Clearing House. 

 

The symposium drew nationwide attention, with more than 700 stakeholders taking par, including members of the Bar Association, military and law enforcement officers, representatives of the business chamber, the Central Bank, the association of ICT professionals, and many concerned citizens.

 

"The forum marks the beginning of a process of sensitisation, and we plan to continue collaborating with the CaribNOG team to develop future training interventions for our jurists,” Benjamin said. 

 

CAPTION: Chief Justice of Belize, Kenneth Benjamin, speaks on the opening day of the country’s first-ever national symposium on cyber security, held at Best Western, Biltmore Plaza, Belize City from April 24 to 28, 2017. Photo courtesy Caribbean Network Operators Group.

Guarding the Digital Gates - Belize to Host First National Cybersecurity Symposium

BELIZE CITY, Belize—In response to a growing incidence of cyber-threats, Belize will host its first national cyber security symposium from April 24 to 27.

“We have observed a disturbing rise in threats to critical network infrastructure, corporate networks and personal data. These threats are growing more frequent, more sophisticated and more harmful each year,” said John Avery, Chairman of the Belize Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which is jointly organising the event with the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG).

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