The Ministry of Communication and Aviation as part of its National ICT Week from the 17th to 18th May, facilitated a public forum aimed at raising awareness on the dark side of cyberspace.

The open forum was themed “The Growing ‘Dark Side of Cyberspace’ and What to do About It”.

The theme focuses on the dark side of cyberspace which is a conceptual framework defining a virtual environmental realm that includes all criminal, deviant, deceptive, harmful and malevolent activities in the abstract universe of cyberspace as described by Michael Nuccitelli (Psy.D.).

Mediated by a three man panellist of local cyber security and law enforcement experts, the forum discussed how the modern Information Age, ICT and its importance to humanity have led many to surmise that the planet and its human inhabitants are amidst an Information Revolution.

The forum highlighted how mobile device technology, telecommunications, social media and the abstract concept and artificial universe of cyberspace are just a few examples of humanity’s newest frontiers to interface with information.

But the panellists stressed that there is a dark side to cyberspace – hidden contests and malicious threats - that is growing like a disease from the inside out.

This darker side of the cyber realm was discussed in light of the prospect of Solomon Islanders having improved access and faster internet connectivity through a submarine cable that the Solomon Islands Government is negotiating with the Australian Government and other parties.

The panellists informed the forum’s participants that while the forms of interface with information through technology are becoming more accessible and is likely to be improved with the submarine cable deal, the rise of cyber bullying, cyber harassment, Internet trolling, cyber stalking, online sexual predation and cybercrimes are becoming more evident in the Solomon Islands and a case for concern.

As such, the panel discussed and called for a Government led effort to at the very least mitigate the risks of better and faster internet access and connectivity with sound legislation and policies, improved technical security and counter-terrorism measures and most importantly, raising public awareness of the dangers that may come as a result of improved internet access.