[governance] Davos calls for clear laws against cybercrime

Riaz K Tayob riaz.tayob at gmail.com
Fri Jan 27 16:58:06 EST 2012

Davos calls for clear laws against cybercrime


International action to snuff out cybercrime is desperately needed, 
officials and business leaders said, warning that criminals move at 
internet speed while countries drag their feet.

Many hackers are no longer just mischievous individuals.

Instead well-funded organisations do it for profit, along with spies and 
terrorists, but many governments are struggling to fight it.

"Many countries don't have laws to criminalise cybercrime, they don't 
have means and tools to investigate, to share information," said Yury 
Fedotov, who heads the United Nations office on drugs and crime.

Cybercrime is "interconnected in terms of crime, but not interconnected 
in collaboration" against it, he added, noting that there is not even an 
agreement on what constitutes cybercrime.

Fedotov said his greatest wish would be "to get a clear definition of 
cybercrime -- to be clear about what should be rejected by member states 
and what should be allowed."

"Criminals move at the speed of internet and countries move at speed of 
democracy -- that's the discrepancy," warned Moises Naim, senior 
associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

In one of the major recent attacks in January, a hacker brought down the 
websites of Israel's national carrier El Al and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

It marked the latest incident in a series of attacks only days into 
2012, which saw details of tens of thousands of Israeli credit cards 
posted online and websites defaced by hackers claiming to be from Saudi 
Arabia or Gaza.


Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesperson for Gaza's Hamas rulers, has hailed the 
action, describing it as "a sign of the Arab youth's creativity in 
inventing new forms of Arab and Islamic resistance against the Israeli 

The Israeli market was not the only one subject to such attacks.

US exchange Nasdaq's general counsellor Edward Knight told delegates in 
Davos that the world's largest exchange company is also "subject to 
constant attacks, a million or more ... intrusions into our systems".

He complained that there is no clarity on "where is public 
responsibility and where is private responsibility" on clamping down on 
such crime.

Unlike real world attacks, the private sector is required to provide its 
own defence system, even if virtual attacks are coming from foreign 

Kevin Johnson, chief executive officer at the US-based internet 
infrastructure provider Juniper Networks, urged state authorities to 
work with private organisations to clamp down on such crime.

"The challenge is that the internet is a global resource but there are 
no geographic boundaries on the Internet, yet laws are established by 
nation states, they are establised by geography," he said.

"One recommendation is any solution ... is going to require a much 
higher degree of public, private partnership," Johnson stressed. -- AFP

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