ISPA provides update on SA cyber security


Cyber security

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) -THE Internet Service Providers Association of South Africa (ISPA) has delivered its Industry Representative Body (IRB) annual Code of Conduct Report to the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT).

The report covering the period from January to December 2023 lists 231 ISPA members and highlights the association’s role as an effective organisation by removing unlawful websites and mediating disputes between consumers and ISPs.

The IRB report finally notes a memorandum ISPA signed with the DCDT in May 2023 about collaborating on combatting and strengthening cyber security in the internet industry.

ISPA chair, Sasha Booth-Beharilal, said the organisation enjoyed a fruitful working relationship with the current minister, Mondli Gungubele, driven by a mutual desire to direct internet technologies towards lifting economic growth and thereby eradicating poverty.

“ISPA is pleased to present this latest IRB report to Minister Gungubele as it cements ISPA’s well-deserved status as a recognised IRB,” Booth-Beharilal said.

One of the biggest benefits of ISPA membership relates to the Association’s Take-Down Notice (TDN) procedure.

ISPA’s report highlighted that about three to four “problematic” websites are removed from the local internet every week in terms of the procedure.

During 2023, ISPA accepted 203 take-down notices (out of an initial 600 requests) and passed these on to the relevant members.

In 195 cases, content was soon removed or blocked by either the ISP concerned, or their client.

In most instances (64), intellectual property rights were allegedly infringed. Some 17 take-down notices were related to phishing sites, while 58 take-down notices centred on material designed to defraud or mislead the public.

ISPA notes that, for the last six years, yearly take-down notice volumes have plateaued at around 600 requests.

This is up from 612 in 2022.

ISPA furthermore received 1 616 requests during 2023 as part of the consumer mediation process it has been operating since 2019 to rapidly resolve consumer complaints. In 2022, the figure was 1 333.

In 2023, some 904 complaints were accepted and 712 were rejected either because insufficient information was provided, the company involved was not an ISPA member, or the request did not relate to an internet service. Billing disputes, quality of service and contract cancellations were the top three issues.

For the 904 mediation requests accepted by ISPA, 441 were confirmed as successfully resolved using the mediation process.

Some 183 were passed onto the relevant member but the complainant ceased communication so ISPA was unable to confirm resolution, 153 were withdrawn by the complainant, 49 could not be resolved and were closed without further action, 31 could not be resolved using the medication process and were escalated to formal complaints and 47 were still pending at the time of writing.

– CAJ News

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