Nestled in the southwest Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa, Mauritius a few years back set out to be the first-ever fully fledged cyber island. While the government-issued campaign promoting computer literacy helped citizens advance their technology skills, it also brought a new set of problems with elevated incidents of cyber crime committed by a younger generation.
Organized by The Information and Communication Technologies Authority of Mauritius, the release of “Be Safe in Cyberspace” brought together 600 students from around the island, as well as dignitaries.
Executive director of ICTA Krishna Oolun spoke about the problems the youth encounters with respect to cyber criminality. He added hackers are mostly youngsters, and the committee aims at educating young people on concepts and dangers relating to cyber criminality. ICTA aims to collaborate with international bodies to ensure safe Internet browsing in the country, Oolun said.
With the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day coming up May 17, Oolun said the theme chosen is “better city, better life with information communication technology.”
Minister of Education Vasant Bunwaree explained to the students attending the event there are three types of hackers: Those who use computers for illegal purposes (such as illegal gambling), those who spread viruses through the Internet, and those who steal and sell information.
The minister said tools used by hackers are easily available on the Internet, and students should realize how big of a problem it is and be aware of laws to battle cyber crime.
“Guidelines were distributed to schools throughout the island on how to use the Internet,” Bunwaree said.
The conference was organized in the context of the visit to Mauritius of Rajesh Tandon, the chairperson of the Cyber Appellate Tribunal of India. As an example of how seriously cyber crime is approached in countries like India, Tandon has the power to shut down websites that violate the law or are specifically used to commit crimes such as phishing.