The Zimbabwean government plans to come up with legislation to curb cyber crime in the country in view of its increasing threat to world economies, Transport and Communication Minister Christopher Mushowe said on Wednesday.
He said this in a speech read on his behalf during the commemorations to mark World Telecommunications Day under the theme of "Promoting Global Cybersecurity".
"Given the threats that are posed to global economies by cyber crime, there is need to come up with measures to combat this crime, " he said.
Most countries, including Zimbabwe, had laws and regulations outdated for protecting networked information, he said.
On the contrary, he said, perpetrators were always updating their technologies making it difficult for the laws to catch up.
"Most of the existing statutes do not have sufficiently deterrent penalties on cyber crime," he said, adding that the government would work with stakeholders including Parliament, in formulating consensus on the way forward in combating cyber crime.
Cyber crime takes various forms, including Spam, which disrupts networks, cuts productivity and spreads viruses.
It also involves distribution of offensive material like racist propaganda, electronic money laundering, electronic vandalism, terrorism, extortion, hacking and illegal interception of telecommunications, which violates individual privacy.
The minister said Zimbabwe would soon come up with measures to curb this crime, including raising awareness through the country's education system, cooperating with other countries in the exchange of technical information and communication network security.
Other measures included building capacity of cyber space users and joining forces with the private sector in combating the crime through Public Private Partnerships (PPP).
Zimbabwe's telecommunications regulatory body, Potraz said cyber security could be strengthened through development of a national framework that involves public and private sectors.
It said lack of adequate security hindered the use of information and communication technologies that rely on the protection and confidentiality of sensitive data.
"Unless these security and trust issues are addressed, the benefits of the information society to citizens, business and governments cannot be fully realized," said Potraz.