17 June 2008
South Africa was granted official observer status to the Information Computer and Communications Policy (ICCP) committee of the OECD last year and is the first and only African country to be granted such. Minister of Communications, Dr. Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri will represent South Africa in the second Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Conference to be held in Seoul, Korea from the 17 to the 19th June 2008.
South Africa was granted official observer status to the ICCP committee of the OECD last year and is the first and only African country to be granted such.
The ministerial conference will address the role of the internet in the 21st century as a critical infrastructure on which the world depends to support economic growth, innovation and social development and will focus on security issues.
The OECD has embarked on a strategy called "enhanced engagement" and South Africa is one of five countries that have been identified for this enhanced engagement.
Internet has created borderless societies worldwide changing how information is shared. Minister Matsepe-Casaburri says that there is a need to protect and empower consumers online by ensuring secured online transactions.
In South Africa, Electronic Communications and Transactions Act provides for the appointment of cyber inspectors, but "there is a need for building a culture of security in the face of rapid technological and socioeconomic changes and illiteracy levels particularly in developing countries is urgent," she says.
In her 2008 budget vote speech, minister said that the issue of cyber security is high on our national agenda. At international level, there are initiatives such as The International Telecommunication Union (ITU's) High Level Expert Group (HLEG) that aims to develop strategies and guidance to countries in dealing with cyber crime.
International Multilateral Partnership against Cyber-Terrorism (IMPACT) will contribute to forging partnerships and collaborations geared towards combating cyber crime, thus building confidence in the use of internet. The outcome of the ITU HLEG will to assist countries to draft their legislative framework and to develop strategies to address the challenges of cyber threats and or cyber crime.