Angola and the New Cybernetic Challenges

The need for focusing on cybernetic security and drawing up legislation able to control cybernetic activities is extremely important in Angola. There was a news broadcast by PlatinaLine, on December 20th, 2016 and also by Menos Fios around the same time announced that the National Radio in Angola had supposedly been the target of a cybernetic attack. Then, in March 2019, a “cybernetic attack” damaged the ENDE pre-paid system and “caused a flood as never had been seen at the home office agency, located in São Paulo, Luanda.” Recently, according to the Angola Portal and the Jornal de Angola; a press release, The Technology Director of “Informação da Sonangol E.P.,” announced that the giant Angolan company had suffered a cybernetic attack on its IT infrastructure, on June 5th. The “Novo Jornal Online” indicated that the hackers were able to access privileged information from over 7,000 petrol industry computers “making the company ‘bewildered’ until the end of Thursday night” that week.

For maintaining legality, national security, and promoting harmonious interaction among people within the Angolan jurisdiction and, above all, to “establish legal control on network and computer system protection measures,” the Angolan National Assembly passed Law – 7/17 on February 16th.

Although Angola has taken an important step forward in passing such a law, observers point out that the referred law needs to be improved even more, due to the complexity of modern cybernetic activities and the internationalization of cybernetic crimes. So, how much does this law protect the Angolan population and even the Government itself from the harmful activities originating from domestic Angolan government for protecting itself from international and domestic cybernetic attacks? And what is the scope of this law to protect Angolans regarding the International Conventions on Human Rights? It is necessary for the Angolan government to answer properly these and many other questions every day, to keep peace and national security.

The challenges associated with the new Communication Information Technologies (CITs) are, many times, unpredictable, devastating, and uncontrollable, thus influencing malevolently, decision-making in several countries in the world. Angola is not the only “unlucky” country in Africa. According to an article in BBC News on March 22nd, 2018, Cambridge Analytica was “accused of using personal data from millions of Facebook users to influence how people voted” in several countries in the world, including in Kenya, Nigeria, and other non-African countries, such as India, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and Malaysia.

The extinct British political consulting firm that arranged data prospection or mining, intermediation, and data analysis with strategic communication during electoral processes, “was also used twice to help win the victory of the Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta – the first time in 2013, and once again in 2017” – indicated BBC News. In another activity, this time in 2015, the former British giant “played a controversial role in the presidential election of Nigeria” backing the reelection campaign of the president at that time Goodluck Jonathan that was unsuccessful.

The need for focusing on cybernetic security and drawing up legislation able to control cybernetic activities is extremely important in Angola. There was a news broadcast by PlatinaLine, on December 20th, 2016 and also by Menos Fios around the same time announced that the National Radio in Angola had supposedly been the target of a cybernetic attack. Then, in March 2019, a “cybernetic attack” damaged the ENDE pre-paid system and “caused a flood as never had been seen at the home office agency, located in São Paulo, Luanda.” Recently, according to the Angola Portal and the Jornal de Angola; a press release, The Technology Director of “Informação da Sonangol E.P.,” announced that the giant Angolan company had suffered a cybernetic attack on its IT infrastructure, on June 5th. The “Novo Jornal Online” indicated that the hackers were able to access privileged information from over 7,000 petrol industry computers “making the company ‘bewildered’ until the end of Thursday night” that week.

For maintaining legality, national security, and promoting harmonious interaction among people within the Angolan jurisdiction and, above all, to “establish legal control on network and computer system protection measures,” the Angolan National Assembly passed Law – 7/17 on February 16th.

Remember that the British giant, Cambridge Analytica, shut down its activities in May 2018 as a consequence of one of the biggest electoral scandals in the history of the United States that at that time. It provided its services to the electoral team for the candidacy of the American presidential election in 2016, Donald J. Trump. The firm collected around “50 million Facebook profiles from American voters and used them to build powerful software for predicting and influencing the choice of voters at the ballot boxes. Thereby also constituting one of the largest violations of big data” in data analysis, indicated The Guardian.

Considering that conjuncture, we at this moment question ourselves: facing the increase in cybernetic activities and the complexity of current information crimes, such as in Angola, how can we protect ourselves from diverse domestic and international cybernetic attacks? What measures can users take to keep protected in this “global village”? Is the Angolan society aware of the diverse cybernetic crimes that have occurred? How can the Angolan Government use these new CITs to promote young entrepreneurship and develop the overall national economy? How can a technological entrepreneurship education transform the Angolan economy?


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