Kenya steps up fight against cyber crime
Information and Communication Permanent Secretary Dr Bitange Ndemo said in Nairobi on Tuesday that the government, through the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK), is pushing mobile operators to give each device – including cellphones and tablets – unique IP addresses to ease identification of users.
This, he said, would help track and monitor user activity on these mobile devices and supplement the on-going registration of mobile phone SIM cards. Dr. Ndemo said mobile operators had missed several deadlines to comply with the order and called on CCK to expedite the matter.
“Operators are exposing themselves to litigation by ignoring the IP address procedure,” he said. “We want them to comply, because this information will be linked to other government databases to improve integrity and combat cyber crime since we are able to trace the users,” he told APA in an exclusive interview in Nairobi on the side-lines of a regional cyber crime conference.
Kenya currently has over 20 million mobile phone users and the use of tablets is picking. Internet use has grown from three million subscribers five years ago to more than 14 million currently, Dr Ndemo said, thus exposing the country, organisations and individuals to cyber crime.
Dr Ndemo said IP addresses for mobile gadgets would boost efforts by the public key infrastructure to assign virtual identities to internet users.
“With this kind of identity, we can increase the transitions we do online and boost e-commerce,” he said, adding that this has been captured in the Cyber Security Master Plan developed by the government.
He said the ministry is working with the Central Bank of Kenya to have the financial systems audited every year to confirm the integrity of the systems. He said Kenyans should develop local solutions which would be more effective in fighting cyber crime.