AN ASSESSMENT OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CYBER REGULATIONS IN CAMEROON
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This long essay ‘An Assessment of The Effectiveness of Cyber Regulations in Cameroon’ is written when cyber offences proliferates. ICT fraudsters development and makes the world a global village. Despite its importance, many are using it for their own selfish interests. Individuals, groups as well as states uses cyber space to indulge into activities that are criminal. This works seeks to examine the effectiveness of the laws combatting cybercrimes in Cameroon. It makes use of qualitative methodology were primary and secondary data are analyzed. Findings show that there are laws and institution put in place to combat terrorism. Despite these measures, a cyber offence still proliferates through hacking, scamming, and data theft. Even though the international community is putting more efforts, more need to be done. It is on this backdrop that this work recommends a more committed approach between states in sharing intelligence on how to better combat cybercrimes.
This chapter addresses the evolution of cybercrime in Cameroon, statement of the problem, research question and objectives. It also mentions the adopted methodology, literature review, justification and significance as well as scope of the study, definition of terms and synopsis of chapters
Until 1992, Cameroon still used the traditional media devices such as press, radio, television, based on the star model. Telephone networks provided a one on one communication. Throughout 1996, internet was regularly mentioned in the speeches of Cameroonian officials. In February 1997 and April 1999 respectively, the internet arrived Cameroon with an American firm AT&T, and with an agreement with Teleglobe, a Canadian company, which installed a second channel of arrival of the internet in Douala, Cameroon. Despite the arrival and the steadily growing Internet penetration rate. Cameroon remained one of the least connected countries in the world with only 5.5% of its population online in 2013. Even though the introduction of the internet brought development in the industrialized world, Cameroon only benefited narrowly from this development, due to weak technology.
According to the International Telecommunication Union, only 1,006,494 out of the 21,700,000 estimated total population of Cameroon make use of the internet. The arrival of hyperspace in Cameroon, nevertheless, presented a wide range of advantages and development that was lacking during its absence. In 2012, Cameroon could boast of over 10,207 internet hosts and was ranked the number 113th in the world. With regards to communication, data of 2012 figures revealed that over 737,400 fixed phone lines were in use compared to 13.1 million mobile phones.
The number of telecommunication networks increased to four over the two in 2010. Douala and Yaounde, together representing about 40% of the country’s population, have more than 90% of all connections. Until 2012 Cameroon operated only two communication networks (MTN and Orange). The wide range of internet users in Cameroon continues to expand daily. Data reveals that young and educated people have more access to the internet, with the male gender dominating. 47.5% of internet user’s respondents are male. 44.3% are under 30 years old. Regarding education, 57.6% of internet user’s respondents have only primary or lower secondary education, 12.2% completed “high school”, and 7.1% have a university degree. Regarding the urban repartition, sample shows that 80.6% of the internet user’s respondents live in Douala. Douala is not only the largest city in Cameroon but also the economic capital of Cameroon with different business activities ongoing in the region. There is a tremendous shift from the local knowledge of criminology to cybercrime. Cybercrimes locally called “scamming”, increases daily in Cameroon with new forms of attacks such as ATM hacks, sim box fraud, wildlife fraud, visa fraud and many more. Advanced technology is more of a threat to the Cameroons with ATM cards fraud and sim box fraud fast developing in different regions. Data survey records of cybercrime activities from national and international authorities involving Cameroonians shows recent arrests of some cybercrime criminals. These cybercriminals displayed puppies on the internet for sale, received huge sums of money from buyers and never made any delivery.
In 2010, a law on cyber criminality was enacted. It aims to build confidence in the use of electronic communications networks and information systems, to set the regime legal of digital evidence. It also protects the fundamental rights of individuals, including the right to human dignity, honor and respect for privacy, among others.
The National Agency for information and Communication Technology (ANTIC) was created on April 8th, 2002 by a Presidential Decree of No 2002/092/PR. ANTIC facilitates and accelerate the uptake of ICTs in Cameroon so that they can contribute to the development of the country. This Agency is responsible for the regulation of electronic security activities in collaboration with the Telecommunications Regulatory Board. LAW N° 2010/012 of 21 December 2010 was adopted by the Cameroon legislation to governs the security framework of electronic communication networks and information systems, defines and punishes offences related to the use of information and communication technologies in Cameroon.