March 29, 2001, 1:17 PM — Delegates from the United Nations' 189 member countries this week will meet with representatives from the U.S. high-tech industry to devise new strategies for dealing with Internet crime and global e-commerce security requirements.
However, to ensure a coherent global strategy, world leaders must be better educated about the need for global security standards and the threat that cybercrime poses to the global economy, said Percy Mangoaela, the UN ambassador from Lesotho.
"We want to sensitize diplomats to the importance of the implications of IT so that they are equipped to deal with the issues," said Mangoaela, who is chairman of the UN Working Group on Informatics and one of hundreds of representatives scheduled to attend this week's Global InfoSec 2001 conference. The conference, which will take place at UN headquarters in New York, is cosponsored by AIT Global Inc., a worldwide association of IT professionals based in Kings Park, N.Y.
However, the working group is an advisory body and can only make recommendations to other UN organizations on what steps to take.
One of the most pressing issues facing the global community is finding common ground on a legal framework for dealing with cybercrime, said Mangoaela. "It is something that has not yet been attempted, so many people don't feel confident in their expertise," he said. "Sooner or later, it will have to be dealt with." That would give authorities a common way to deal with Internet crimes perpetrated in one country against systems in another.
Delegates attending the conference also plan to take up topics of personal security and privacy on the Internet. The European Union has clearly spelled out what the challenges are when it comes to personal privacy, said David Lowe, head of secretariat for a European Parliament committee.
"It seems to me to be imperative to boost the power and authority of parliamentary oversight committees to at least the level prevailing in the U.S. Congress," said Lowe. "In many European countries, such things are often inadequate or nonexistent."