Archives For South African government

The following article is very pertinent to any organisation or group considering cloud computing. Soft-marketing tends to delude would-be users into believing they will have full control over their data, and as such, is fully secure. Even in the international Customs and Border Management space there is lots of talk on this subject, yet very little substance. Unfortunately, organisations and individuals are slaves to the technology they use which fashions not only their work ethic but attitudes as well. It is no longer true that technology is a ‘tool’. More time and money is spent these days on technology choice than on training and education. In fact technology is so important it influences law-making and business operations, rendering human discretion obsolete in many instances. Therefore it is imperative that organisations involve business and legal experts in their systems development. 

The recent spate of hackings and electronic security breaches serves to highlight the endemic threat and associated cost of cyber crime. Globally, organisations are forced to reconsider their cyber security measures as cyber criminals become more audacious and technologically innovative. Crimes can take place in both the physical and the electronic medium, with the possibility of technology infrastructure being used as both a “subject” and an “object” of a crime.

The criminal justice system faces a number of challenges in the successful prosecution of cyber crimes. While the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act of 2002 does create a framework for criminalising cyber crimes, including hacking, it does not provide any concrete preventative measures to combat cyber crime. The technical and often remote nature of cyber crimes, including multi-jurisdictional issues where cyber criminals are operating abroad, often prevents prosecutors from being able to present viable cases and bring cyber criminals to book.

Fortunately, the South African government has acknowledged that more proactive measures are required to address the scourge of cyber crime. Cabinet has recently approved a National Cyber Security Policy published by the Department of Communication. The policy creates, among other things, a platform for the creation of a number of structures that would be responsible for analysing and responding to the threat of cyber crime with the ultimate objective of mitigating the effects of cyber crime in South Africa. The State Security Agency has been tasked with responsibility and accountability for the implementation of cyber security measures. It is hoped that this policy and the measures it intends to implement results in the prevalence of cyber crime in South Africa being effectively addressed and countered. Organisations should, in addition to any measures being taken by government, continue to carefully assess their cyber security measures proactively, including by implementing robust systems, particularly in instances where personal data is processed (which includes the collection, recording, transferring or storing of such personal information). The Protection of Personal Information Bill requires the implementation of “appropriate” security safeguards where an individual’s personal information is processed. What will be considered appropriate will need to be determined on a case by case basis and with reference to steps taken in foreign jurisdictions, which may provide guidance in interpreting this requirement.

On account of the fact that there is no way to precisely document the far reaching effects of cyber crime, individuals, organisations and government must ensure that a more cautious and prudent approach is adopted to manage security in any electronic environment. Source: SAPA

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The South African government has reaffirmed that the green barcoded identity (ID) book will be phased out and replaced with a new smartcard ID after Cabinet endorsed a Department of Home Affairs (DHA) pilot project to test the hardware and software used to produce the cards. The new card would be phased in over a period of about four years and would embrace a contactless chip, which Cabinet said was based on international trends and standards.

The smartcard solution would also be integrated with the deployment of a new National Identity System that would digitally capture biometric and biographical details of all South Africans and foreign nationals living inside South Africa. Home Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma reported recently that the integrated system would be linked to systems for movement control, permitting, as well as asylum seeker and refugee management.

The DHA planned to issue some 2 000 smartcard ID’s during the pilot phase, which was unveiled to lawmakers earlier in the month. The pilot phase would prioritise people applying for IDs for the first time and was likely to cost about R5-million.

The first issue of the smartcard would be free of charge, with the cost implications for reissuance yet to be determined.The test phase would enable the department to test its systems and enable government to procure the required machinery to produce the volume of cards that will be required to phase out the green barcoded ID books. No indication was given as to when a tender would be issued for the procurement of the full-scale system, or what the solution was likely to cost.

The department would collaborate with the Departments of Transport, Health and Social Development to integrate the smartcard with other official documents, such as drivers and firearm licences, social grants and those that would be associated with access to the proposed National Health Insurance scheme. Source: Creamer Media

South Africa is considering whether to approach the international community with a proposal to trade in rhino horn, Environment Minister Edna Molewa told MPs on Wednesday. Opening debate in the National Assembly on her department’s budget, she said this included engaging “major role players, including international and regional partners [and] potential consumer states”.

Molewa’s remarks come 10 months ahead of the 16th congress of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), set to take place in Bangkok, Thailand, in March next year. According to reports, South Africa is sitting on an estimated 20-ton stockpile of rhino horn; some of it in private hands, some stored by conservation authorities. The price of the horn, should the Cites moratorium on trade be lifted, has been estimated at more than R500,000 a kilogram.

Molewa has declined to say how much rhino horn is held by government-managed parks and reserves.”Due to security risks, the department cannot publicly announce the amount of stocks being held by these agencies”. On Wednesday, she said her department was involved in an “extensive” preparatory process ahead of the Cites congress.

“This will include discussions on whether or not to approach the international community with a proposal to trade in rhino horn.” On the rhino poaching crisis in South Africa, Molewa said 199 rhino had been killed so far this year. “We are very, very deeply concerned,” she told the House. Earlier, briefing journalists at Parliament, Molewa said South Africa would not table a document at the next Cites meeting calling for the rhino horn trade moratorium to be lifted.

“No, not this time around. We are still considering all options, as well as probabilities towards that direction. We have not decided yet. Let it be clear. “We are still doing some very serious work in analysing whether we need to move in that direction or not.”

Among the things that needed to be done before trade could be resumed was “to ensure we get to know who the partners are on the other side”.Policies had to be in place “that do not allow any shenanigans to operate in the system,” Molewa said. “There are just too many things to do before we can place the discussion before the conference of parties. We are not yet there.”

Hmmmm! Would seem that the temptation for monetary profit is so compelling – R500,000/kg. Given the frequent outbursts at incidence of poaching and the horror pictures which normally accompany such reports how about burning the rhino horn reserves? That will send a clear message on government’s concern and intent.There exists a similar parallel where the importation of second-hand motor vehicles are banned in South Africa, but condoned because certain neighbouring countries want them. The old adage – ‘laws are meant to be broken’ comes to mind.  Source: SAPA