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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, 14th August 2018 – Countries must be vigilant against new cyber threats that are constantly emerging. These include the increase in fraud and money laundering carried out through online technology, the use of the internet and social media by terrorists and extremists to spread their propaganda and facilitate recruitment and the proliferation of misinformation and confusion through "fake news" as this would endanger social cohesion and affect national security.
This was highlighted by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti Bin Haji Mohd Daud, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office who was the Guest of Honour on the occasion of the opening of the 11th China-ASEAN Prosecutors-General Conference (11th CAPGC). The 11th CAPGC is currently being hosted by the Attorney General's Chambers of Brunei Darussalam from 14th- 15th August 2018 at the Rizqun International Hotel, Brunei Darussalam and is convened under the theme "Enhancing Capabilities and Cooperation in Addressing Cybercrime".
In his remarks at the opening ceremony of the 11th CAPGC, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti stated that crime in cyberspace continues to be attractive because of its swift, anonymous and borderless nature. He stated that fake news is a "threat not only to the government but also to society's trust in each other" and also remarked that "our biggest challenge is to guarantee the credibility and reliability of the sources of information" commenting that "human creativity has been exploited to distort the truth and create false stories with the aim to deliberately misinform the public for various interests and purposes". To counter this, the Minister advocated the need for education on all levels on the responsible use of digital technology, the enhancement of data security to ensure that the public becomes less liable to become victims of internet scams as well as the need for a "Collective ASEAN Way" to engage media providers since ASEAN can leverage on established communication links to combat the misuse and abuse of data.
The Minister stated that Brunei Darussalam continues to takes the threat of cybercrime very seriously and continues to undertake significant efforts in order to ensure the protection of its nation and population. Outlining several national efforts, including the establishment of the Brunei Darussalam National Cyber Security Framework in 2017 and the fact that Brunei Darussalam became the first country in the region to establish a Child Online Protection Framework the Minister also stated that "a strong legal framework in any national strategy to address cybercrime is vital" and commended the Attorney General's Chambers on its various efforts to combat cybercrime such as the establishment of the AGC's Cybercrime Focus Group and continuing awareness talks delivered by officers of the Chambers aimed at educating the younger generation and disseminating preventive messages. In confronting the challenges faced by cybercrime, the Minister also stated that it is important not to underestimate the role of education in the combatting of cybercrime.
In his Opening Remarks preceding the Guest of Honor, the Honourable Attorney General of Brunei Darussalam, Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Awang Haji Hairol Arni bin Haji Abdul Majid stated that the Attorney General's Chambers has been active in ensuring that appropriate legal measures are in place to deal with any issues pertaining to transnational crimes, including cybercrime as well as ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice. He stated that since 2011, 14 offences related to cybercrime in particular those related to social media such as defamation, spreading of false information and uploading of obscene media on various social media platforms have been successfully prosecuted in court. He also stated that as part of the Criminal Justice Division's ongoing efforts to deal with cases of social media offending justly and efficiently, that the Chambers developed guidelines in January 2017,
The Honourable Attorney General also mentioned that in order for the legal frameworks governing cybercrime to be strong and robust that they need to be supported by capable human capital and resources and also emphasised the need to cultivate the necessary experts in order to be in the forefront of the fight against transnational crime.
The 11th CAPGC meeting is attended by Prosecutors-General, Deputy Prosecutors-General and Senior Prosecutors from ASEAN member states, China as well as the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong and Special Administrative Region of Macau.
The China-ASEAN Prosecutors-General Conference is a regional cooperation mechanism in the prosecutorial fields which is sponsored by the Supreme People's Procuratorate of the People's Republic of China. Since its establishment in 2004, the China-ASEAN Prosecutors-General Conference is committed to promote the capacity-building of prosecutorial organs in combating crimes, protecting welfare and maintaining peace and stability in the China-ASEAN region.
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