05.04.2005 General News

Govt to ensure confidence in security of ICT

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Accra, April 5, GNA - The Government is to increase efforts to protect the National Information Infrastructure (NII) to bring about public confidence in the security of the nation's Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) operational environment, Communications Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a stakeholder consultation workshop to discuss issues bordering on cyber crime or Internet fraud and related concerns, Mr Kan-Dapaah said this was necessary because if the economic benefits of ICT systems were to be realized, user confidence in the security of the underlying infrastructure was essential.

The Ministry of Communications organized the workshop in collaboration with the World Bank as part of Ghana's ICT policy and planning process towards the development of a national telecommunications policy.

The policy would include an Electronic Transaction Bill and the Computer Misuse Act.

The IT security aspect of the policy would be coordinated through an Information Technology Security Coordination Team (ITSECT) and chaired by the Sector Ministry.

Other members of the team would include officials from the Office of the President, the Ministries of Justice and Attorney-General's Department, Defence, Foreign Affairs and The Interior, Ghana Police Service, Bureau of National Investigations, Serious Fraud Office, Securities and Exchange Commission, Bank of Ghana and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).

Mr Kan-Dapaah noted that the development of computer networks, the Internet and e-commerce had provided opportunities not only for people, who sought to legitimately benefit from the technologies but also for those whose intent was to maliciously exploit the systems and loopholes.

"It is, therefore, imperative that Ghana enacts legislation to preserve the integrity of computer systems and ensure that international content standards are complied with," he said.

He said the policy would inspire the confidence of investors and ensure that Ghana's ICT structures were up to international standards. Ms Tira Green, World Bank Consultant; explained that the absence of laws or inefficient stringent laws held back investors.

She said the E-transaction Bill would facilitate modern business and commerce in Ghana on a technologically neutral basis by means of reliable electronic records to remove uncertainties.

This would promote public confidence in the validity and integrity of Ghana's business environment and also bring about the development of the required legal and business infrastructure necessary to implement electronic transactions.

Ms Green identified some of the key areas that required security in Ghana as obscenity, defamation, privacy, data protection, consumer protection and rights, cyber piracy, fraud and cyber crime and virus.

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