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Thursday, November 23, 2006

ICT is a double-edged sword – NAS

National Security Adviser (NAS) to President Olusegun Obasanjo, Major General Abdullahi Sarki Mukhtar (retd) has described the evolution of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as a double-edged sword.

He spoke at the opening session of the ICT capacity building workshop on “Law enforcement and national security in the digital economy,” held in Abuja.

Major-General Mukhtar said that it is not enough to simply acknowledge the double-edged nature of ICT, stressing that officers and men of security agencies in the country must work assiduously to remain viable at this age.

He explained that though ICT has successfully obliterated the fundamental basis upon which traditional law enforcement and security operations were predicated, “that is, the twin notions of ‘national jurisdiction’ and ‘physical presence’.”

ICT, he pointed out today, presented a better potential for increased technical for modern day law enforcement and security.

He also said at the workshop put together by the Nigerian Cybercrime Working Group (NCWG) with the support of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), that based on the aforementioned, law enforcement and security agencies, especially in the country should work diligently in order to secure lives and property in Nigeria and protect her territorial integrity.

“By addressing all the issues that are pertinent to the increasing interplay between ICT and law enforcement on the one hand; and ICT and national security on the other hand,” the NAS asserted.

He further highlighted some issues desiring for attention in the security sphere, including how to solve the problem of online identity, and identity of devices in the networked environment.

Mukhtar equally wondered on how security agencies should track, trace and investigate illegal activities carried out in digital media.

In addition, the NAS called for solution on how security agencies could prompt electronic attacks so as to stop same before it actually happen.

“What modalities have we adopted to ensure that electronic harms, when they occur, do not spread to unsuspected users,” he said.

Above all, the successful prosecution by way of linking individual offenders with their criminal online actions is of paramount.

“We know that without establishing such a link, we cannot be said to have apprehended anyone for the crime, neither can we even begin to think of drafting a criminal charge,” he declared.

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