Participants of the workshop
Communications and Digitization Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has expressed the government’s determination to work with relevant stakeholders to protect the internet and its users from terrorist attacks.
She explained that partnerships through knowledge sharing and best practices are crucial to addressing the problem of online terrorism and violent extremism.
“I welcome you to join forces with the relevant authorities to work together and ensure that relevant laws, consistent with everyone’s legal and digital rights, are adopted and implemented as we seek to protect our digital platforms from destabilizing acts of terrorism.” .” She said.
Ms. Owusu-Ekuful said this at the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT)/Tech Against Terrorism (TAT) Intersectoral Workshop on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism Online in Accra on September 7.
Terrorist Online Activities
The minister said terrorist activity on the internet is a concern for all nations and Ghana is no exception, adding that there is therefore a need for cooperation between nations and groups to ensure information sharing, response and coordination to counter such to speed up action.
“Countries are now at war with hackers online, vital data is being stolen and many institutions face ransomware attacks on a daily basis.
“Additionally, violent extremists and terrorist actors are exploiting the various vulnerabilities of the internet and networks to engage in activities aimed at undermining our personal and civil liberties,” she said.
She said accelerating and strengthening knowledge-sharing and best practices between technology companies, law enforcement and other relevant partners in cyberspace would pay more attention to the issue of online terrorism and violent extremism.
She said Ghana has made strides in cybersecurity over the past five years with the passage of the Cybersecurity Act 2020 (Act 1038) with specific provisions to protect critical information infrastructure.
National Security Minister Albert Kan-Dapaah assured that the country would be able to respond to and repel terrorist attacks in the country.
He said the security and intelligence services had been retooled and well-equipped to thwart terrorist attacks.
“The events of September 11, 2001 showed the world just how determined terrorists were to carry out their evil deeds.
“These violent extremists and jihadists aim to disrupt and destabilize individuals and societies at large. Unfortunately, these individuals have now moved their activities online, and our greatest concern right now is possible terrorist attacks on our critical information infrastructure.
“Online terrorist activity is a problem for every nation and Ghana is no exception. Therefore, there is a need for cooperation between nations and groups to expedite information sharing, response and coordination to counteract such acts,” he said.
The acting Director General of the Cyber Security Authority (CSA), Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako said the digital revolution has led to the development of a range of internet technologies.
He said the technologies have enabled individuals and groups to communicate effectively across borders with increasing anonymity and speed to a nearly unlimited audience.
“The Internet remains the most equitable technological innovation for humanity, the full benefits of which for individuals and economies have yet to be realised.
“However, Internet technology has also created the platform for unwanted and dangerous activities.
“The use of cyberspace and digital platforms for violent extremism and terrorism-related activities is an area of major concern, not only for governments and their law enforcement agencies, but also for the organizations that own or deploy such technologies on behalf of users,” he said .