Electronic Crime in Botswana

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Communication Technology (ICT) as a key driver of its developmental agenda which include economic growth, reduction of poverty and global competitiveness. The author outline that the purpose of this paper is to examine the challenges encountered in the implementation of the e-government, as well as the potential opportunities available in the context of Botswana society. He defined e-government as the use of the internet or other digital means by the government to deliver information and services online. The paper identified the challenges such as security and privacy issues, digital divide and poor ICT infrastructure.

Is Botswana Ready for Cyber Attacks?  The author of this paper looked at cyber security and sporadic cyber-attacks in Botswana. There is rapid Internet penetration, driven by popularity of social media and new internet services such as bill payments, online banking and even e-government. So many security or information technology breaches led to many cases where people lost their money in their bank accounts. He discovered that these breaches often goes undetected hence most people are not are that their identities or email passwords have been stolen. He concludes to state that Botswana lacks the basic infrastructure to accommodate the rapid transformation into the virtual world.

Electronic crime, also known as computer crime, refers to any activity in which computers, computer systems or networks are used as a tool, a target or a place of criminal activity (Gercke, 2012). It is one of the most growing global challenges especially to governments and law enforcements. Electronic crime is sometimes used interchangeably with cybercrime which involves crimes taking place in the cyberspace (Chere, 2015). These crimes have far reaching impacts which involves great financial losses globally and annually estimated to be $375 billion through crimes like credit card fraud (Chimuka & Mashumba, 2016). Hacking into public service systems also results in denial of service and national security threat. Unlike in conventional crimes it is difficult to trace criminals in the cyberspace as they usually hide behind proxy addresses (CERT Coordination Center, 2014). Cyber crime often has a transnational occurrence which requires multinational agreements and cooperation amongst affected states. Lack of legislation and cooperation by countries, lack of resources and ICT experts in the law enforcement are often huge challenges in combating electronic crime.

In Botswana as a developing country, electronic crime is part and puzzle of the rapid growing use of information and communication technology. According to Chimuka & Mashumba (2016) Batswana continue to be victims of cyber scams/fraud such as internet investment scams, credit card scams and money transfer fraud in which their hard earned money is solicited by cyber fraudsters from all around the world. Non financial cyber crimes in social media platforms like Facebook is also a growing concern as users are usually cyber bullied (Sharma et al, 2016). Victims of cybercrimes like cyber bullying usually lack education and awareness to know if these are actually crimes and also do not appropriate responses such as the right places to report to. There is also a serious shortage of ICT experts in the law enforcement in Botswana (Chimuka & Mashumba, 2016). Cyber security is also a new phenomenon to Batswana hence less use of measures such as encryption and ethical hacking (Mogotlhwane, 2008). Botswana however has a relatively good legislation on electronic crime.

According to the findings cyber security is a responsibility of all the relevant stakeholders. This includes the web creators, governments of countries, the users and network service providers (Gercke, 2012). This is because failure by these to play a role could become gap or weak link to be used by cyber criminals. For instance Mukhopadhyay & Nath (2014) and Sharma et al (2016) have a common finding that failure to utilize security mechanisms like encryption and ethical hacking by financial institutions gives criminals a chance to hack into their systems to steal money and personal data of the clients. The findings show that cybercrime is a global phenomenon hence the law enforcement of different countries should work closely together on combating cybercrime (Nkwe, 2012). The cyberspace is characterized by transfer and exchange of huge amounts of data some of which highly sensitive such as personal and national security data (Murray, 2007. The findings as such prove encryption of data as a suitable technique to protect this information from cyber criminals or other unintended receivers of it.

Upon showing the concern over failure to enforce electronic crimes by the law enforcement Chimuka & Mashumba (2016) indicated that in Botswana there serious concern is the law enforcement officers lack expertise and computer literacy essential in dealing with electronic crime as such states that ICT training on the law enforcement and employing forensic technicians should be done by the government. There is also lack of resources concerning electronic evidence collection and preservation (Chere, 2015). Governments should utilize electronic evidence collection software applications such as Forensic Toolkit (FTK). Dealing with transnational cyber crimes also pose a challenge to the law enforcement hence cooperation between the affected countries should be established through having extradition agreements.

The writings indicate the transnational or borderless nature of electronic crime (Gercke, 2012). This will help by guiding research as to the geography of commission of these crimes measured by the distance between the perpetrator and the victim or target. Geographical area is important in budgeting for research. The writings indicate the ever evolving and sophistication of electronic crimes (Murugavel, 2014). This helps to realize that cyber criminals always improve on their techniques of criminality cyber security should always be up to date with the new techniques of criminality.

Botswana should empower the law enforcement in Botswana in dealing with electronic crime. The law enforcement in Botswana highly lack ICT literacy and expertise as such the government should seek to train a lot of these officers then make sure every police station in the country have at least one person who

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Electronic Crime In Botswana. (2022, Apr 09). Retrieved March 5, 2024 , from

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