By Rula Su’a – Vaai
APIA, SAMOA – MONDAY 09 JULY 2018: Shocking statistics on the number of Samoans who now access child pornography online raised eyebrows at the Cyber Crime Workshop in Apia last week.
The workshop was to review Samoa’s current cybercrime laws, evaluate where Samoa stands in comparison to the Budapest Cybercrime Convention standards, and initiate steps to the proper legislative amendments, as well as provide capacity building where required.
The Attorney General, Lemalu Herman Retzlaff noted his concern on the increasing number of Samoans who have access to child pornography online.
“For me personally I was shocked at the number of Samoans who are trying to access those child pornography websites.
“I found out during our overall analysis two days ago that this is one of the main purposes of Samoa signing the Budapest Cybercrime Convention.”
According to the Attorney General, about 750,000 thousand child predators are on the internet from time to time.
“Statistics show that one third of that number comes from Samoa. Those predators are on line at any given time on the internet, looking for ways to access children through pictures innocently posted on face book.”
The Attorney General said he was recently alerted by Interpol that even pictures of our Samoan children showing not much of clothing on, jumping in the sea, “the predators will exploit it to catch on for dirty works.”
Lemalu said, Samoa have foundation laws in place.
“The overall assessment that we have just received is we have got the Foundation Law. All we need is to put in procedural laws to help with the flow of investigations and have fairness between us and those who have been looked at and also we should have some international links to countries that are assisting us.”
Prime Minister in opening the workshop said the issue of cybercrime is already affecting Samoa with a number of people being prosecuted for related offences.
He told participants and representatives from Australia and New Zealand, there are people who are using the social media to attack others, which have created hatred and tension amongst the people.
“In light of the workshop I hope our overseas guests will assist us in building our national capacity so that we are more aware and better equipped to deal with such crimes.”
The workshop participants include participants from the Judiciary, Police and Prosecutors, Government Ministries, Internet Service Providers, the Samoa Law Society, and Financial Institutions.