Vice Chairman of IMANI Ghana, Kofi Bentil has admonished government to take on the task of monitoring the social media activities of Ghanaians in secrecy.
According to him, it is a relevant part of governance that a surveillance programme be initiated and implemented to monitor all communication platforms. He was however emphatic on the point that this should be done at the blind side of Ghanaians.
Speaking on the relevance of internet as regarding personal freedoms and state security, Kofi Bentil stated that espionage or spying as long as is done in the country’s interest, is justified. His point was that though Ghanaians deserve the unreserved right to have their privacy and or freedom as far as communication on social media is concerned, it is equally important that government monitors these conversations in the interest of the country.
“I’m a champion for freedom and I want freedom, but that is why there is espionage, that is why there are secret services, that is why more than 30% of governments do in the area of security is not above board, so don’t let me know you are tapping my phone or you are reading my social media page but do it because you are government.
Mr. Bentil maintained that it is one way government can monitor possible threats from enemies and or competitors to be able to have foreknowledge and avert possible attacks in the future.
“Social media mimics real life so if you are trying to understand somebody or know what they are doing or who they hang with or their views about certain things, it is fundamental that you go and check them out, even use espionage and go beyond what is normally acceptable in terms of infringing on their freedoms, that is because you are government and you must know that if you are found out, then you are going to be in trouble”.
He however indicated that government must not be intrusive in the process of retrieving information.
“Do it in a way that is not intrusive”, he said.
Kofi Bentil who was one of the key advocates against the spy bill explained that his problem would be for government to make a law to enable security agencies to manipulate telecommunication messages, he simply believes government should ‘spy’ but do it “behind the scenes”…