Katjavivi concerned about unregistered sim cards

06 Nov 2017 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 06 NOV (NAMPA) – Namibia is one of a few, if not the only country in the region currently, where one can purchase a mobile phone subscriber identification module (sim) card without registration, thus making it vulnerable to cyber threats, the Speaker of the National Assembly has said.
Peter Katjavivi raised this concern when he officially opened a two-day cyber security conference for Members of Parliament (MPs) here Monday.
Katjavivi explained that one can easily purchase a sim card off the streets without registration and validation of an identity card or passport.
“This implies that one can use a phone number to commit a crime and throw it away easily, without being traced,” he said.
He noted that securing cyberspace is a national e-sovereignty challenge which needs to be pursued in a comprehensive manner.
Katjavivi said as budget custodians and lawmakers in the country, MPs have a critical role of securing Namibia.
He thus suggested that MPs influence the nation’s priorities related to how many people could be trained, how to educate the nation, what infrastructure the country needs and what laws need to be enacted to protect Namibia.
The Speaker added that although Namibia is in the process of developing a Computer Emergency Response Team, in the meanwhile, training and digital forensic labs of law enforcement agencies are needed.
He expressed concern that while there are still many physical threats, more threats are continuously occurring in cyberspace.
There have been some initiatives and efforts undertaken by the government in the information and communication technology-related areas, but more needs to be done to improve the country’s cybersecurity status in Africa and the rest of the world in the years to come, Katjavivi said.
On his part, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana explained that once the cybercrime bill is in place, people will be required to register with their identity documents on the network.
He said the bill is currently with the legal drafters, and will soon go back to Parliament for tabling.
The conference ends Tuesday.