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Law must be updated to fight cybercrime, intensify punishment, experts say

By Dana Al Emam - Oct 04,2015 - Last updated at Oct 04,2015

AMMAN — Cybercrime experts recommended that an article on cybercrimes be added to the Penal Code to supplement the existing “advanced” Cybercrime Law.

Raed Kordiyeh, an advocate and cybercrime expert, also recommended stricter penalties for violators, who are usually fined up to JD300 under current regulations, to reflect the severe breaches of privacy involved in many cybercrimes.

Kordiyeh’s remarks came at a recent seminar on the subject of protecting Jordanian women against cybercrimes, which was organised by the International Women’s Forum.

He also suggested establishing a specialised court for cybercrimes to make it more likely that such crimes are reported to the authorities, and developing lawyers’ and judges’ expertise on cyber issues.

Regulations must keep pace with “very intelligent and professional” cybercriminals, who are usually aged between 20 and 45, with a high level of education, said Kordiyeh.

The Kingdom has witnessed an active legal advocacy against cybercrimes, said Rabab Tal, a legal consultant at the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology.

Tal added that the ministry is working on a guidance manual on cyber safety for Internet users and service providers.

However, she mentioned that current regulations include articles punishing online abusers of children, but none pertaining to the abuse of women, who are victims of nearly 80 per cent of cybercrimes.

Users should treat their smartphones and online accounts as “glass houses” keeping no secrets to avoid becoming victims of cybercrime, warned Lt. Col. Sahem Jamal, chief of the cybercrime section at the Public Security Department’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

Jamal said the CID and the ministries of education and higher education have reached an agreement to include a section on cybercrimes in the tenth grade computer science textbook and to create a mandatory “security sciences” course for university students.

He noted that around 95 per cent of cybercrimes use information technology only as means to perform a “typical” crime, such as theft or blackmailing, while the remaining 5 per cent represent crimes specific to information technology, such as stealing access to databases.

Common cybercrimes in Jordan include sexual abuse of children, promoting prostitution online, blackmail, fraud, identity theft on social media networks and stealing credit card numbers, according to the CID.

 

There are some 6 million regular Internet users in Jordan, where population, including refugees and guest labour reaches around 10 million, along with around 4.5 million Facebook accounts.

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