FBI trains Samoan government officials to deal with cyber crimes

The Cyber investigation training participants with the FBI officials, the Minister of Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupai and the U.S. Charge d’Affaires Tony Greubel

APIA, SAMOA – MONDAY 15 APRIL 2019: Three officials from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation started a four day training in Apia today for 26 Government IT professionals on the basics of conducting cyber investigations.

The training was opened by the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupai at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel this morning. The four-day training will bolster Samoa’s capacity in dealing with cybercrimes and the various online tools that can help with any investigation or background check.

This training grew out of the U.S. Professional Fellowship in Information Technology program that was attended last October by the now CEO of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology,  Fualau Talatalaga Matau, and Makeki Online founder Mose Mose.

The Minister of Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupai gives his opening remarks and welcomes the FBI trainers

For three weeks, Fualau and Mose, along with several colleagues from other Pacific Islands, took a tour of municipal IT systems and private sector IT entities across multiple cities in the U.S with a focus on the impact of increased Internet connectivity on economic and social development.

For a reciprocal program, Fualau and Mose successfully proposed for a cyber-investigation course to be held locally, which led to this FBI training taking place in Samoa this week.

The training consists of instruction on the basics of hardware and software systems, the various aspects of the internet, how to investigate cybercrimes, and how to carry out online investigations.

This training is reflective of the U.S. and Samoa’s shared interests and close collaboration on matters of national security, transparent markets, and the rule of law.

The training comes at a time when much has been said about the online blog OLP that had been accusing the Prime Minister and his ruling party of corruption, had openly discussed individuals’ personal lives and resulted in a defamation case brought by a church minister against the Samoa Observer newspaper that published a letter from the blog. The church minister is also seeking for the identity of those behind the blog.

The U.S. Charge d’Affaires, Tony Greubel giving his remarks