CSA seeks L.I. to ensure safer Internet for children

The Cyber Security Authority (CSA) has announced the commencement of the process to license Cybersecurity Service Providers (CSPs), accreditation of Cybersecurity Establishments (CEs) and Cybersecurity Professionals (CPs).

The Cyber Security Authority (CSA) Director-General, Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, has disclosed that his outfit is seeking a Legislative Instrument (LI) as part of plans to ensure a safer Internet for minors.

He explained an L.I. will enable the CSA to deal with service providers who fail to comply with orders to remove content that is inimical to children.

“The CSA will be developing a legislative instrument to ensure that we strengthen a legal environment which will have provisions to hold accountable service providers who fail to comply with orders for removal of contents that are inimical to children. We hope the private sector will disclose and report incidents of harmful content against children to the Authority and help keep our children safe,” he said.

In October 2020, the Ministry of Communications through the then National Cyber Security Centre – now the CSA, in collaboration with the Internet Watch Foundation launched a Child Online Protection Reporting Portal for the reporting and removal of child sexual abuse materials being accessed from Ghana but hosted outside the country.

It is against this background that Dr. Antwi-Boasiako emphasised that the L.I. will aid efforts to ensure service providers comply with child online safety requirements.

He spoke at a media forum organised by the Authority under the theme ‘Empowering the African child with safer Internet’ and said: “It is crucial to invest in educating young people to develop their critical-thinking skills to enable them effectively evaluate online risks and opportunities”. The event was part of activities to mark the 2023 Africa Safer Internet Day.

Role of parents 

He advised parents to continually supervise their children’s activities online by reviewing games, apps, and social media sites, as well as adjusting privacy settings and using parental controls.

“In empowering the African child, parents have a major role to play. As parents and responsible adults, we are expected to develop an interest in what our children do online and help them to address challenges as soon as we pick up danger signals.

“Let us tell them about the potential dangers they may face online, and teach them about the websites and applications to avoid. Above all, let us develop a relationship of trust with our children so that we are always the first point of call when they need to confide in someone. If you are not Internet-savvy as a parent, entrust your children to the care of trustworthy individuals in your circles,” Dr. Antwi-Boasiako indicated.

For her part, a representative of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Joyce Odame, reiterated that as more children gain access to the Internet, the risk of experiencing violence, abuse and exploitation online becomes an unfortunate reality that needs to be prevented and managed.

“Empowering the African child on a safer Internet is very relevant and appropriate. Indeed, children need to be empowered and equipped with the knowledge and skills to navigate the Internet space safely,” she said.

She urged the CSA to continue facilitating engagement with telecommunication companies and Internet service providers, in line with their roles and obligations as prescribed in the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038). “This is to facilitate blocking, filtering and taking down harmful content, as well as to leverage technology for early detection and prevention.”

Leave a Reply