Gov’t Bans Use Of Private Emails By Public Sector Workers

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The government of Ghana has has introduced a new measure, banning all public officials from using their private emails for carrying out official duties. This comes after cabinet approved the request of the Ministry of Communications to migrate all public sector workers to a specially designed domain (.gov.gh) for official business.

The government of Ghana dedicated domain for public workers to send and receive emails, according to the Communications Minister, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, will help safeguard the infrastructure of government against cyber attacks.

She expressed the sentiment that, the state has realized that the use of private emails like Yahoo and Gmail do not create the impression of seriousness in running state duties.

The Minister made this known during the week, on April 5, 2019 at Aburi, during the opening session of the National Cyber Security Technical Working Group first retreat for this year.

Some participants of the National Cyber Security Technical Working Group retreat in a group photograph with the Communications Minister

Already, some ministries and departments, including the Ministry of Communications have started using the government dedicated .gov.gh emails, the Minister revealed.

She went on to indicate that, the use of private emails exposes the entire critical information resources of the country to cyber crimes, noting the need to protect the public information ecosystem.

Nothing, Ghana is within the top 10 users of social media on the globe which makes the country prone to to cyber attacks, Mrs. Ursula Ekuful warned that, by the close of this year, all public officials who use private emails to transact national duties will be sanctioned.

She cautioned against the use of using private emails for government business, saying, “It is unacceptable that a government official will be sending an official message with the use of his or her private email and this is not done anywhere in the world.”

According to the Communications Minister, president Akufo – Addo has mandated the Ministry to implement all the regulations on Cyber crime and its related offences in order to make the safer digital Ghana campaign a success.

Mrs. Ekuful expressed the Ministry’s commitment to realising the implementation of the initiative, saying, “We are determined to ensure that critical state infrastructure is protected regardless of the little funds we have as an institution.”

The program is expected to be executed by the National Cybersecurity Secretariat and the Ghana Domain Registry with oversight supervision from the Ministry.

The two days workshop by the committee is to give an opportunity to members to review the progress of work on the cyber security bill.

Representatives of major state institutions like the Attorney General’s Department, Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), National Communications Authority (NCA), Defense Intelligence (DI), among others, were some participants of the retreat.

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