State Dept throws $250,000 at UN effort to combat cybercrime in Africa

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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The State Department announced Tuesday that it is granting the U.N. $250,000 to combat the ever-increasing problem of cybercrime in Africa.

As mobile technology continues to penetrate Africa, transnational crime groups and terrorists are expanding their cybercrime activities on the continent.

The funding, which the State Department called the “first-of-its-kind,” is being granted to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Global Program on Cybercrime in Africa and would be applied toward “criminal enforcement training and technical assistance for judges and prosecutors of East African nations.”

“We estimate that $250,000 of program funds could train up to one hundred judges and prosecutors,” a State Department spokesman told The Daily Caller.

“Much of our work with these funds will aim for the establishment of fundamentals: basic laws that criminalize cybercrime conduct, laws on handling electronic evidence, laws and processes for encouraging whole-of-government coordination and international cooperation in real-time,” said the spokesman.

The Justice Department would consult on the training. The project, the State Department said in a statement, is a “reflection of efforts of the United States to combat transnational crime and cybercrime worldwide.”

In a recent piece by Nairobi-based tech journalist Vince Matinde, according to the Cyber Security Africa team, cybercrime in 2011 in the U.S. only amounted to a loss of 0.02 percent of GDP, but in Kenya cybercrime created a loss of 0.05 percent of GDP.

“The US is a major donor to the UNODC,” a State Department spokesman told The Daily Caller.

“We view the organization as an important implementer of drug control, crime prevention and criminal justice capacity building and technical assistance programs on a global scale,” said the spokesman

UNODC did not immediately return The Daily Caller’s request for comment.

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