Months after Kuulpeeps.com launched and sparked a conversation about cyberbullying and cyberharassment, the government has announced that it is taking the first steps on the path of effectively criminalising damaging social media content.
Speaking at the National week celebration of the Cyber Security Awareness Month 2019, being held at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister of Communications, said the law would soon be enshrined with strict penalties so that sending, retaining, and sharing of such content would be punishable by law.
This could become the first attempt by the government to enact laws that specifically target cyberbullying.
The Communication Minister cited sexual images as an example of inappropriate content, adding that all should comply with the domestic laws, when passed, to avoid being penalized.
The Minister said there would be sufficient provision in the law to protect children/adolescents from online abuse, the Ghana News Agency reported.
She, therefore, called on the public to be wary of such messages, delete as soon as they receive them, and avoid passing them on.
The Ministry is working with the Attorney General, and Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, among others to come up with the framework on child online development and welfare within the shortest possible time.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said most children had become active users of the internet for learning but were unfortunately faced with a lot of challenges, which affected their human rights and, therefore, the need to protect them.
She said most of the laws of Ghana were enacted before child online protection came up, as a result, sufficient laws should be put in place to protect children being abused on the internet.
This comes weeks after the Ministry of Communications and the National Cyber Security Centre have launched the Cybercrime/cybersecurity incident reporting platform.
This is part of government’s effort to fight cybercrime which also includes cyberbullying and cyberharassment.
Victims of cybercrime are encouraged to report the said incidents either via WhatsApp to 050160311, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, SMS or call 292, fill an online form at www.cybersecurity.gov.gh/report and/or download the NCSC Ghana mobile App.
To learn more about Kuulpeeps.com’s anti-cyberbullying campaign, please click here.
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