Graphic Online

Graphic Online 

Parliament urges NCA to intercept nude pictures on social media

BY: Musah Yahya Jafaru
Mr Eugene Boakye Antwi  — MP for Subin
Mr Eugene Boakye Antwi — MP for Subin

Members of Parliament (MPs) have advocated the drafting of legislation to stop the interception and publication of nude pictures on social media.

They also urged the National Communications Authority (NCA) and the National Media Commission (NMC) to be proactive and block the distribution of nude pictures on social media.

The legislators said stiffer sanctions on perpetrators of such acts might end the practice, which had caused misery to many victims.

Some of the legislators were, however, of the view that legislation alone could not stop the publication of nude pictures.

They, therefore, urged the public to avoid taking and sharing nude pictures with their loved ones, since the pictures could be intercepted.

The MP for Subin, Mr Eugene Boakye Antwi, set the tone for the discussion when he read a statement on the "Secret Recording - The Need for Parliament to Legislate" in Parliament on Thursday.


His statement came in the wake of recent sharing of the videos of a headteacher and a student having sexual intercourse and some youth gang-raping a teenager and the nude pictures of a pastor's wife on social media.

Secret recordings

Mr Antwi said the proliferation of secret recordings in the country was alarming and urged Parliament to pass the appropriate legislation to stop it.

"There is a rising incidence of unacceptable sexual or pornographic materials finding their way into our social media space and defiling the rights of the parties involved," he said.

He said even though the right to privacy was not absolute, people were required to derive authority from existing law to be able to interfere with a person's correspondence and communication.

Therefore, he said, it was time to draft legislation to indicate the circumstances under which someone could record a private conversation and release it to a third party.

The legislation should also spell out the circumstances under which the state could breach a person's right to privacy by interfering with his communication or correspondence.

Contributions

The Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said it was through legislation that people could be stopped from intercepting and sharing nude pictures and conversation of people on social media.

He said citizens were required under the Constitution to respect the legitimate interest of others but not to invade their privacy and share information with third parties.

He cited himself as an example, indicating that someone had created a Facebook account in his (Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu’s) name and was using it to solicit financial support.

He said Parliament could not fold its arms and allow the menace to continue to fester in the country.

The Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, said nobody should be subjected to interference of his privacy.

"Confidentiality of information is personal and business and should be respected," he said.

He said the way people, especially politicians, managed their sexual life was subject to blackmail.

He said once people used smart phones, their information could be saved in a data centre in the United States, which could be released later.

He, therefore, urged the public to ensure "cautious use" of their mobile phones to save their private activities from going out.

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