The Minister of Communications, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, says sextortion and distribution of sexual images of individuals are gradually becoming a canker in the Ghanaian cyberspace, due to the trusting nature of most Ghanaians.
“Out of a total of 296 cases received by the National CERT between January 1 to June 30, 2U020, 27% of the cases, representing a total of 79 cases, are related to either sextortion, non-consensual sharing of intimate images or child online abuse”, she added.
She stressed that these criminal acts are perpetrated by malicious individuals who build acquaintance with unsuspecting victims on platforms such as social media, dating and adult website through the use of fake identities.
Explaining how these criminals operate, the Minister said, victims, are coaxed to either share nude pictures/video of themselves or perform sexual acts that are secretly recorded. The criminals capitalize on these recordings to extort monies from victims.
Touching on the provisions of the law, the Minister explained that “Child pornographic content and the act of extortion constitutes criminal activities under Section 136(1) of the Electronic Transactions Act, 2008 (Act 772) – (c) possesses child pornography in a computer system or on a computer or electronic record storage medium, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than 25 penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not more than10 years or to both, and Section 151 of Criminal and Other Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).”
She added that “Government and its agencies are working assiduously to curtail the prevalence of cybercrimes, however, implored the general public, especially children and young adults to be cautious of the activities of malicious individuals.”