The Minister for Communications Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has appealed to the public to collaborate with the government to check cybercrime and its negative impact on particularly the youth.
This was contained in a speech read on her behalf by Hon. Vincent Sowah Odotei, a Deputy Minister for Communications at a forum to mark Safer Internet Day in Accra.
Mrs Owussu-Ekuful urged parents, teachers, industry players, media and opinion leaders to assist in disinfecting the internet of cybercrime as would be done to any other infectious outbreak.
“We must utilize the knowledge and research that we have gained regarding cybersecurity threats and avoid inappropriate behaviour and fraudulent use of the internet to protect our children and young people from cybercriminals.”
She added, “We must acknowledge the threats, discover the universe of possible responses to each threat and then empower ourselves with safety measures to eradicate the problem.”
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said although the internet has the power to be harnessed for good purposes, some malicious people have decided to dedicate their time and resources to use this powerful tool for selfish means.
She said, “They harness this technology to among other things; sextort young children, perform fraudulent activities online, compromise system etc. Quite worrying is the open nature to the internet that gives equal access to everyone and allows anonymity and uncensored content so users including children, young persons, adults, corporate organizations, governments, NGOs, social groups and activists can create and publish on the internet without approval.”
The Minister said the theme for this year’s celebration, “Together for a better internet,” falls in line with government’s efforts to secure Ghana’s cyberspace through the National Cyber Security Awareness Programme which was launched in October last year.
She said as part of building confidence and security in the use of ICTs, the government has acceded to two major conventions on cybersecurity; The Budapest Convention and the Malabo Convention. These are to ensure collaboration with other countries in tackling cybercrime which knows no geographical limitation.
“We have also established a National Cyber Security Centre where suspected incidents can be reported and adequately dealt with. Efforts are been made to identify legislation and policy gap between existing frameworks and international child online protection framework to incorporate issues that will seek to protect and prevent children and young people from Online Children Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (OCEA),” she said.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful urged all to combat cyber threats and attacks through awareness creation and put in preventive measures to curb the menace of online child abuse.