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Internet Society pledges to fight cybercrime, up Africa's profile

Internet Society pledges to fight cybercrime, up Africa's profile.

Beneath the two key focus areas of the Internet Society for 2016 as discussed at its first Community Forum on Wednesday are its plans to support the fight against cybercrime in Africa and increase the continent's participation in the Internet's premier standards-making body, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

"The Internet Society will collaborate with the African Union Commission to help promote the African Cyber Crime convention and best practices to fight cybercrime," ISOC President, Kathy Brown, stated. "In addition, we will continue to increase awareness about privacy and data security issues and educate individuals on privacy online.

"One other important initiative in 2016 is to Increase Africa's participation in the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet's premier standards-making body. The Internet Society will be encouraging greater participation from African communities in the IETF, and offering regional hubs for IETF meetings at various African universities."

The IETF is a large open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers with a mission to produce relevant technical and engineering documents that influence the way people design, use, and manage the Internet to make the Internet work better.

A strong technical Internet community in Africa will expand the circle of stakeholders who care about deployment of an open, trusted, resilient Internet for the continent.

Citing a survey of African ICT policy makers which indicated that "Cyber Security, Data Security and Privacy" are at the top of their list of priorities for the next three years, Brown noted that cyber security is a leading issue on the Internet agenda as it has made building trust in the Internet a significant challenge.

On ISOC's two main areas for the year - Connecting the unconnected and building trust in the Internet, she said they are the most pressing imperatives facing the Internet today more so as they are closely interlinked. "To continue to build a better, stronger Internet and make it available to more people around the world," Brown added, "we need to repair the levels of trust to safeguard the Internet's future and bring value to those that use it."

She added: "I am firmly of the belief that if we don't tackle these two big issues, the next phase of the internet will look very different from the principal vision that we have for ensuring that everyone everywhere has access to a globally-connected open trusted internet."

ISOC Director of Communication, James Woods noted that the organisation had begun working around the themes in a concerted way, since last year at IGF.

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