RIA’s Public Comment on Critical Infrastructure Protection Regulations

In July 2022 the Acting Secretary for Police Service in the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service, released the Critical Infrastructure Protection Regulations and invited public comment. The submission linked below was made by Research ICT Africa’s Senior Research Associate, Dr Scott Timcke and focused on issues related to artificial intelligence risk and cybersecurity.

There are many parts of the Regulations that are well designed; RIA suggested two main areas where there could be further development. First, the Regulations could be altered to include regular fixed timeframes to submit written reports to specific Parliamentary Joint Committees, Standing Committees, and Portfolio Committees. These reports can reinforce the kinds of checks and balances that are essential for an effective democracy. Second, the Regulations stress the physical security of critical infrastructure, although such an understanding could be expanded to include cyber, fiscal and indeed even environmental security factors that are as important in our contemporary age. The impact of the climate emergency and extreme weather can, for example, cause ripple effects across critical infrastructures.

The research that informed this submission is made possible by a grant from Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) as part of RIA’s Africa Just AI Project, an AI Policy Research Centre that aims to ensure AI development and decision-making are carried out in accordance with ethical systems and a rights-respecting framework. The Authors are currently engaged in public interest research as part of the project under the AI Risk and Cybersecurity theme. 

If you would like to find out more or discuss any of the insights contained in their submission please do get in touch.