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Statesman Opinion: Maximizing The Positive Use Of ICT
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Cybercrime, popularly known as ‘sakawa’, has become one of the most heard of crimes in the country as a result of the availability of the internet. People hide behind the computer with the aid of internet to commit all sorts of crimes, including identity theft and invasion of privacy, ATM fraud, counterfeiting and forgery.

Many individuals and organizations have lost millions of cedis as a result of this menace which keeps rising day in, day out although the police keep making arrests.

The high rate at which people are using ICT to execute complex crimes is very alarming.

Many have argued that Cybercrime, mostly undertaken by the youth, is as a result of unemployment in the country. This should not be an excuse for the youth to defraud unsuspecting persons of their hard earned money.

We have a lot of IT talents in Ghana but then these young guys have nothing productive to do other than resorting to cyber-crimes.

Now that Ghana has one of the fastest internet connectivity in Africa, and internet access is relatively cheaper, there is the need to properly equip our internet police surveillance unit in the country.

In as much as we agree with the notion that ICT has become a necessary, as well as a two edged, sword, we, nonetheless, believe the positives outweigh the negatives.

It is to this end that we welcome the decision by the government to establish a National Cyber Security Centre to liaise with the relevant state agencies and the private sector to oversee cyber security operations at the national level.

With the introduction of the digital addressing and the national identification system, we believe cybercrime can be decreased, if not totally eliminated from the system.

There are many other ways we can transform the negative use of the internet into positive use in the fields of e-health, e -learning, e-tourism, e-transport, home-working or telecommuting, e-governance, e-tailing, e-marketing, e-agriculture, and for driving SMEs.

With the establishment of the National Cyber Security Centre, our laws on cyber-crime should also be beefed up to ensure that people who hide behind the internet and tarnish our image are brought to book.

Besides, we should equip our forensic department in the police to intensify surveillance of online activities, under the ambit of the Freedom of Information Law.
Source: The New Statesman

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