Mixed feelings as Government sets up squad to monitor Internet use


In order to specifically deal with the growing trend in cyberspace crimes, a special branch called the Special Joint Cybercrime Crack Squad (SJCCS) has been formed by the government of Zambia.

Transport and Communications Minister, Engineer Brian Mushimba, notes that the exponential growth in the information and communication technology sector has created unprecedented opportunities for accelerated development in interactions by individuals and corporate entities facilitating the establishment of knowledge based digital societies.

“Through ICTs, the ability for people to communicate, connect, share, learn, access information and express their opinions on matters that affect their lives and their communities has been enhanced enormously. People the world over including the people of Zambia, have benefited greatly by opportunities brought about by the emergence of the digital age” said Mushimba.

He said that the wider and increased availability to the digital platforms such as the internet and mobile technology has led to some individuals using ICTs to propagate illegal vices.

“In order to mitigate against abusive and illegal use of digital platforms and vulnerabilities amongst and against Zambian citizens, the Government of the Republic of Zambia through the Ministry of Transport and Communications has spearheaded the formation of a Special Joint Cybercrime Crack Squad” he stated.

The Minister has indicated that the SJCCS is an effort of collaboration amongst security agencies and other stakeholder groups.

“The SJCCS has been established with the understanding that the ability to reduce risks brought about by the digital revolution requires the establishment of effective and efficient real-time and proactive strategies. Such strategies can be developed and implemented through enhanced and improved collaboration between key cross-sectoral stakeholders” he believes.

Mushimba is hoping that the adoptation of this multi-disciplinary collaborative approach reinforces Governments commitment to introducing measures and policies that will promote a safe, secure, resilient, reliable and inclusive ICT sector for increased and continued Investment and Development in Zambia.

“The Special Joint Cybercrime Crack Squad (SJCCS) will play a lead role in bringing some level of sanity amongst digital platform users in the country” he anticipates.

He added that the Crack Squad will support the identification of investigative overlaps and eliminate duplicity of resources whilst effecting new investigative approaches to bring about rapid resolution of cybercrime cases and fast-track prosecution of the offenders. This team will help ensure that public digital platforms including social media are not used as vehicles for illegal and harmful activities.

Mushimba reiterated that the Ministry remains committed to promoting the responsible and productive use of digital platforms further condemning all forms of cybercrime and the harmful use of social media.

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