Cyber Security Bill to be passed by end of year – Minister of Communications

The Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has assured that the National Cyber Security Bill will be ready and presented to Parliament to be passed into law before the end of the year.

According to her, a national cyber security law had become necessary to help protect the country’s cyber security infrastructure and ecosystem as the government moves to digitalise the economy and move the country from paper to electronic transactions.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful, who disclosed this during a workshop for heads of security agencies on the National Cyber Security Bill, said the passage of the bill into law would help for the establishment of a cyber security authority and the establishment of a cybersecurity fund.

The objective of the workshop was to seek the input of the heads of the security agencies into the bill.

The participants include officials from the Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana Army, the Navy, and Ghana Airforce.

 “The Cyber Security Bill when passed into law would help protect the cyber ecosystem including cyber security incident reporting, licensing of cyber security providers and to provide legal provisions for the interception of  both traffic and contents data for the purposes of law enforcement and intelligence,” she said.

“Most importantly, the Bill is being introduced to address specific  legal gaps with respect to Ghana’s mandate under the Budapest and the Malabo Conventions both of which, Ghana is a signatory,” the minister said.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful also said the “Bill also provides specific provisions to address child online safety issues in the age of sextortion and blackmailing involving obscene contents, some of which are related to children”.

She indicated that the ministry had engaged stakeholders including the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications to provide insightful inputs into the bill.

The minister said the government was committed to putting structures and systems in place to protect the citizens of the threats in the cyber space and on the internet.

According to the ministry there are currently about 10.32 million of the citizens who were active on the internet and the active internet users kept growing by two per cent every year.

The National Cybersecurity Advisor, Dr Albert Antwi-Boasiako who took the participants through the Cybersecurity Bill said the promulgation of a cybersecurity law was to further consolidate the gains the country had made in the cyber sector.

He said Ghana has been described by the World Bank as the leader and best in cyber security space in the West African sub-region.

Dr Antwi-Boasiako said in view of that other African country such as the Gambia, Sierra Leone and Niger had come to study the country’s cybersecurity architecture.

By Kingsley Asare

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