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16.07.2008 General News

GJA calls for law to link cell phone chip to buyer

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The Ghana Journalists Association on Tuesday urged Parliament to consider enacting a law that would require every buyer of a cell phone chip to provide personal details to the company to curb incidence of death threats issued through text messaging.

Such a law, the association explained, could help the public find out those who used the cell phone to issue death threats.

A statement signed by Mr. Bright Blewu, General Secretary of the GJA, condemned the issuing of such death threats and attempts by some people to convert the cell phone into a weapon of intimidation.

"We wish to appeal to all Ghanaians to exhibit a high sense of tolerance in our body politic in order to promote dialogue, healthy debate and constructive criticism at all times. This will help spare Ghana any ordeal that could harm its democratic development."

The statement explained that the idea of enacting such a law had been promoted because of the seriousness it attached to the use of death threats to journalists through text messages citing the example of Mrs Gina Blay, Chief Executive Officer of Western Publications Limited, Publishers of Daily Guide newspaper, who has been issued with death.

The GJA further welcomed plans announced by the Ministry of the Interior to track cell phone users.

Nana Obiri Boahen, Minister of State at the Ministry of Interior, has said the ministry was holding discussions with mobile telecommunication companies to explore the possibility of installing device to determine location of callers.

According to him, the Ministry was also prodding the companies to make it mandatory for every buyer of a mobile phone chip to provide personal details to the companies to make it easier for the security agencies to track down people who used mobile phones to commit crime.

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