Cybercrime, major security threat in Ghana – Kan Dapaah
Accra, Mr Kan Dapaah, the Minister of National Security on Monday said cybercrime was considered a major security threat and challenge in the country and it was important to come out with appropriate measures to combat it.
He said cybercrime was fairly new, and Ghanaians were in the early stages of building the capacity both to apprehend and also prosecute cyber criminals.
Mr Dapaah made this observation at the opening of a five-day introductory cybercrime and electronic evidence training of trainers' course organised by the Council of Europe and Global Action on Cybercrime Extended (GLACY).
The course also seeks to strengthen the capacity of Ghanaian judges, prosecutors and relevant authorities on matters related to cybercrime and electronic evidence.
Mr Dapaah said the Ministry considered cybercrime as one of its major challenges it could not handle alone but needed the help of the law enforcement agencies, to help apprehend and prosecute offenders.
"We are very encouraged that through this training you are going to join us in this fight, otherwise all our efforts would go in vain, if criminals would not get the necessary sanctions for their acts.
"Today's training is important because not only should we be able to apprehend the criminals as security agents, but we should be able to rely on the judicial system to ensure we have well trained investigators, prosecutors and judges who can deliver the right justice to them," he said.
Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister of Communications, said technology was facilitating crimes in various ways and such workshops would help build their capacity to address some of the issues of cybercrime.
She tasked law enforcement agencies to build their capacity to be a step ahead of cyber criminals, by working with corporate organisations through sharing of experiences.
"With this training we need to develop new strategies to deal with the new emerging threats. We need to come out with new ways of handling evidences in court to help us deal with emerging issues as a result of the increase usage of technology," she said.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful noted that government would set up a national cyber security council in the national cyber security centre to work extensively with the private sector and ensure public and private participation in the fight against cybercrimes.
She said awareness creation of the emergence of the crime was also important, and as such, it was important not to only concentrate on the law enforcement aspects of cybercrime, but to set up a public education system to adjust ways of doing things and navigating the cyber space securely.
She urged participants to spread the knowledge they acquired through the training by setting up a cybercrime training centre to serve as a medium of informing people.
Mr Matteo Lucchetti, representative from CoE said the training was to strengthen the capacities of states worldwide to apply legislation on cybercrime and electronic evidence and enhance their abilities for effective international cooperation in the area.
He said it was also aimed at promoting consistent cybercrime and cyber security policies and strategies, strengthen the capacity of police authorities to investigate cybercrime and engage in effective police-to-police cooperation with each other as well as with cyber units in Europe and other regions.
"It is also to enable criminal justice authorities to apply legislation and prosecute and adjudicate cases of cyber and electronic evidence and engage in international cooperation."
Mr Lucchetti reiterated that at the end of the workshop "we would expect not only to have shared expertise and strengthened knowledge on the topics at hand, but also to have provided a set of training skills that could be re-used by the trainees, to be trainers themselves within their respective national authorities".
Mr Joe Anokye, the Acting Director General, National Communications Authority, noted that the objective of the training was to establish a core group of trainers who would have acquired the requisite basic knowledge of dealing with cybercrime and electronic evidence.
He said the trainees would also be equipped with the substantive and procedural laws and relevant technologies, and how to take appropriate measures to replicate the training elsewhere within the country.
Participants for the training were drawn from the Judicial Service, the Attorney General's Department, Economic and Organised Crime Office, NACOB, National Communications Authority, National Security, Ghana Police Service, Bureau of National Investigations, and Ministry of Communication.
Source: Ghana News Agency