Shutting down social media not an option but self-regulation in internet use important to avert gov’t intervention – Ursula

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The Ministry of Communications says it will be forced to regulate activities on the internet if citizens are unable to observe ethics of the network including the respect for privacy online.

Speaking on the sidelines of the freedom online conference in Accra today, Thursday, 6 February 2020, which seeks to dialogue on ways to improve Internet access and ensure security online, sector minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful outlined measures being rolled out to expand access to Internet in Ghana.

However, being alarmed at the rate of abuse of social media and other spaces on the internet, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful noted that government will be forced to regulate the internet if individuals cannot be responsible online.

She said “In certain countries there’s been calls for social media to be shut down because of its abuse but like I indicated in my speech, I don’t think that’s an option. However, we need to promote more responsible use of the internet to secure the privacy of all citizens online – children, the vulnerable – and to ensure that we do not overstep those bounds.

“If we don’t self-regulate the state will be compelled to set in place the mechanisms to regulate our usage of the internet.

“However, in crafting cyber security laws, we should also be mindful of individual liberties and freedoms so we strike that fine balance between all these competing needs in protecting the citizens, protecting the security of the state and ensuring that the internet is available for lawful use by all and not restricting its usage while protecting the vulnerable online.”

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