The advent of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have given birth to a new form of crime known as cybercrime –which is any illegal activity carried out with the aid of a computer or network-connected device, such as a mobile phone. The novelty of this crime is challenging the judiciary corps as methods of tracking cybercriminals and analysing digital evidence are way out different from the protocol used in the investigation and prosecution of traditional crimes. Cybercrime investigation and prosecution entail the use of sophisticated ICT tools and electronic processes which some judicial police officers and magistrates are not yet akin to.
Faced with this challenge, Cameroon’s National Agency for Information and Communication Technologies, widely known by its French acronym as ANTIC, charged with securing the national cyberspace has established a working partnership with the judiciary corps which entails – assisting and collaborating with the corps in the tracking of cybercriminals and gathering digital evidence.
It is within the framework of this cooperation that ANTIC recently organised a three-day seminar for magistrates and law enforcement officers of Adamawa and North Regions during which they were imparted basic skills necessary to effectively investigate, gather and analyse digital evidence in a bid to enhance the tracking, apprehension and prosecution of cybercriminals.
Some one hundred magistrates and law enforcement officers drawn from the two regions took part at the seminar in Ngaoundéré, 02-04 December 2020, during which they were drilled on the following: electronic signature, security watch, digital public order, challenge of identifying users, sanctions against cybercrimes and the general notion of cybercrime.
In a keynote address at the seminar’s opening ceremony, ANTIC’s Deputy Director General, Mrs Abenkou Eba’a Paulette, on behalf of the Director General, enjoined the judiciary corps to use the Ngaoundere meeting to strengthen existing cooperation ties between the judiciary and ANTIC in the fight against cybercrime. She enjoined members of the judiciary corps not to hesitate to fully tap from the technical expertise of the Agency in the domain of cybercrime investigation in a bid to enhance the dispense of justice.
The seminar was presided at by the Procurer General of Adamawa Region, Mr. Ndanga Dogoua Christian Fleury, on behalf of the Minister of state, Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals. In his opening speech, Mr Ndanga saluted ANTIC for the initiative and invited magistrates and law enforcement officers present to take advantage offered by the seminar to sharpen their professional aptitude in handling cybercrime cases, which have witnessed a spike in the two regions.
The Ngaoundere event was part of a nationwide campaign that has already taken ANTIC to the Centre, West, and East Regions and falls within the framework of the Agency’s mission of securing the Cameroonian cyberspace, in consonant with the 2010 law on cyber security and cybercrime in Cameroon.