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The WTO’s Thematic Session on Regulatory Cooperation between Members on Cybersecurity, 20 June

The DTIC approached EFSA for assistance to find a South African expert to represent SA at this session, which provided member states with an opportunity to explore the role of technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures which contribute to Members’ policies to address cybersecurity threats. EFSA proposed Adv Jacqueline Fick, who had prepared the Standard Operating Procedures for the Cybersecurity Act last year, and she agreed to represent SA. The session discussion focused on what are the current approaches in managing cybersecurity risks and what are the opportunities for regulatory cooperation in this area.

Adv Fick told us that she is now involved in completing the Cybercrimes Bill, which was delayed when the Cybersecurity Act was adopted in 2020. Recently, Adv Fick has put EFSA’s name forward to attend a multi-stakeholder meeting on the UN’s proposed system to countering cybercrime. That meeting, called by the Dept. of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) will take place on 3 August.

Adv Fick also said that there is a move to ensure internet platforms’ and access providers’ accountability. This has been a matter of controversy for years, with the ISPs and some platforms arguing that they are not responsible for the content they carry as this is provided by their clients. We will return to this subject in the future.



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Alastair Tempest

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