Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Winning The Fight Against Cyber-Criminals In Ghana

Yesterday, the Ghana Police Service swooped on  a gang of 43 Nigerians who had allegedly murdered one of their number who had shopped them - as a warning to others who might also be tempted to grass on that  selfsame ruthless gang of cybercriminals - and caught them red-handed engaged in internet fraud.

Since the digital economy could potentially provide wealth and jobs for millions of younger generation Ghanaians, it is vital that those whose online criminal activities have made Ghana a global superpower in cybercrime are rooted out, prosecuted and given lengthy jail terms.

The Ghana Police Service must liaise with their Nigerians counterparts to jointly investigate the backgrounds of all the 43 cybercriminals arrested yesterday at Ofankor.

They must also take the DNAs of all of them and put them in their databank for suspects - so that when they are involved in crimes where they leave traces of their DNA they can be identified and tracked down.

Above all, once they are deported from Ghana after serving their sentences, they will not be able to get back into Ghana and remain here illegally  so easily again.

The Ghana Police Service deserve to be commended for this particular coup against cyber criminals.

For the benefit of the Ghana Police Serv:ce, we are publishing details of Germany's tough new proposed laws that will put the onus on social media platforms to remove criminal content from their platforms or face hefty fines from the authorities.

The article was written by Lucinda Southern and it is culled from Digiday Daily. Ghana should follow suit with a similar law.

Please read on:

''Fake News

What to know about Germany’s fake-news crackdown

March 21, 2017 by Lucinda Southern

Last week, Germany formally proposed a law to fine social networks up to €50 million ($54 million) if they fail to remove harmful fake news or defamatory content — what it’s calling “criminal content” — from their platforms within 24 hours.

Heiko Maas, the federal minister for justice and consumer protection, specified that criminal content includes defamation, slander, threats and criminal misinformation. Unlawful content is a deliberately broad spectrum and could include everything from infringing intellectual property to altering facts to promote racist populism. As part of the proposal, the platforms would also have to publish quarterly status reports, detailing how they handled complaints, how many they received and how their teams are staffed.

Here are the nuts and bolts of what to know about this proposal.

This builds on a current law

“This is an escalation of an existing framework,” said Eitan Jankelewitz, a partner at media specialist law firm Sheridans, explaining that as part of the current e-commerce directive in Europe, online platforms that host content aren’t expected to moderate it. Once platforms have knowledge of unlawful content, usually flagged by people who believe it is infringing on their copyright, or flagged as hate speech, they must “act expeditiously” to requests to take it down.

“’Expeditiously’ is open-ended; there’s not much certainty,” he said. “In this case, it is saying that ‘expeditiously’ is 24 hours.” Essentially, this proposal aims to make the social platforms act more quickly in responding to complaints.

Self-regulation hasn’t worked

“At the end of 2015, Google, Facebook and Twitter took part in a ministry task force,” said Philip Scholz, a spokesperson from the ministry of justice and consumer protection. “They undertook voluntary commitment to delete criminal content from their platforms within 24 hours.” But, Scholz tells Digiday, there hasn’t been enough evidence that the platforms have dealt with user-submitted complaints of hate crime quickly or effectively enough. ''

End of culled Digiday Daily  content written by Lucinda Southern.
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