Here is a quick summary of the key takeaways of an article published by South Florida Caribbean News in May 2017. The article, entitled “Belize leads Caribbean race to cyber preparedness” was written by Gerard Best.
After the creation of a scandalous Facebook page showcasing sexually explicit affairs involving men, women, and children in Belize, the nation became concerned about their level of cyber safety. This incident immediately raised questions about privacy, the role of law enforcement, individual rights, and cyber-protection.
As it so happens, this incident coincided with Belize’s first-ever national cybersecurity symposium which was hosted by the Belize Public Utilities Commission, and jointly organized by the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG). This attracted the interest of many and, some saw this as an opportunity to learn more about cybersecurity while others took it as a chance to highlight issues of cyberbullying, identity theft, paedophilia, etc.
This symposium was merely the starting point. After the event, a specialised task force was created to handle cyber threats within the country. The symposium also highlighted the need for an updated legal and law enforcement framework to criminalize and prosecute online misdeeds.
“Cybercrime and cyber-safety issues impact all sectors of society”, and thus, any approach to crafting a solution must not only be holistic but also requires a coordinated approach at all levels. Belize is fast emerging as a leader within the region but per the chairman of Belize’s Public Utilities Commission, “the symposium is just the start.”
Contributed by: Chanthea Quinland from Antigua and Barbuda. Chanthea, is a member of the WISC Discord group from the G5 Cyber Security Foundation Ltd. Learn more about WISC (Women in InfoSec Caribbean) at wiscaribbean.org. WISC is a non-profit initiative supporting Caribbean women and girls to develop a career in Information Security.