“We must employ concerted efforts to combat cyber threat and terrorism,” Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh said at the opening of the International Cyber Security Consultation and Stakeholders’ Workshop, which took place yesterday at the Miatta Conference Centre, Brookfields.
Awoko reports that the Vice President explained that we now live in a rapidly changing information-rich world, adding “with expansion and unchecked application of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), we are confronted with new threats namely, cyber threats and cyber terrorism.”
Therefore, VP Foh emphasized that, “in order to maximize the benefits that ICT brings to bear on our personal growth and the development of all countries of the world we must employ concerted efforts to combat cyber threat and cyber terrorism.”
He noted, “in today’s global endeavors, no country is too small to shy away from the fight against cyber threat and cyber terrorism.”
The VP explained that small as Sierra Leone may appear to be, Internet and mobile services have become an “indispensable part of our daily lives providing real time borderless communications.”
“As at now, we are more interconnected than ever before through the Africa Coast to Europe Submarine cable which has been deployed in almost 75% of our country,” VP Foh averred.
He noted that ICT applications would facilitate the realization of the goals set for, in the Agenda for prosperity. “In this direction, government will continue to invest in modernizing the ICT infrastructure, so as to enable citizens to have access to reliable and affordable services. These are part of our critical information infrastructures, which we will pursue relentlessly,” he underscored.
Vice President Foh explained that while ICT provides unprecedented opportunities, their misuse create new and serious challenges that have the potential to harm individuals, groups and National Security.
“Cybercrimes such as phishing, spam, computer-related fraud and other similar offences like SIM Box fraud and the inappropriate use of the social media are rapidly increasing and evolving in step with the development and adoption of new ICT services.”
He pointed out that the use of mobile and the Internet to radicalize, recruit and raise funds for anti-social behaviors including terrorism “is today the biggest threat to peace and security of all nations.”
“Sierra Leone has been alive to the dangers posed by the inappropriate use of ICTs,” the VP acknowledged
He explained that in 2011 President Ernest Bai Koroma and other heads of State and Government met in Abuja to sign the 2011 Directives to combating cybercrimes and cyber terrorism for the sub region.
In his opening remarks the Information Minister, Mohamed Bangura highlighted government commitment in ICT development but also stressed on the security challenges it poses and the need to address it.