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Friday, February 26, 2016

New media and The 10 Things you must know about Nigeria’s Cybercrime Act 2015

Digital media has been touted as new and exciting platform for international development. The Internet, cell phones and other social technologies have been used to strengthen communities by making information readily available and by empowering the voiceless. 

Internet and communications technology is undoubtedly a tool that can be harnessed for positive social change, but as with every other technological advancement, ICT is a double-edged sword. As access to new media increases, there is growing concern among academics, activists and technology professionals that real-world issues of privacy, security, conflict and crime are moving into the digital sphere more quickly than they can be monitored or addressed.

For digital advocates and new media users, the major areas of concern has always been the double edged issue of government control of freedom of expression and the legal challenges of an increasingly global Internet community and the ways in which some private citizens are responding to the issues of cyber-crime.


Currently, the term cyber crime encompasses (but is not limited to) the following: terrorism, online fraud, espionage, child pornography, stock manipulation, extortion, piracy and personal attacks. Tracking the growth of these crimes is a difficult task for law enforcement agencies, since much of the illegal internet activity worldwide goes unreported, but the instances continue to multiply.

The Nigerian Communication Commision has however recently emphasized the Commissions mission at the Social Media Week Lagos as a move to sensitize the public on the Cybercrime Act of 2015.

According to Mr. Ojobo, a special social media unit was created by the EVC to publish the activities of the NCC online on social media as part of the Commission's drive to sensitize the public on the Act.

Responding to reports that the NCC was planning to regulate platforms such as WhatsApp, Viber and so on, Ojobo stated that traditional telephony are under threat from OTT operators. He further added that the report recommended that telecoms operators innovate and develop business models that will enable them compete favorably, allaying fears that the Commisssion was indeed considering regulation of the platforms.

Panelists on the NCC showcase, which was themed What Does New Media Have To Do With The Cybercrimes Act, stated that crimes can be committed by people who go to organizations and use the network of those organizations to commit crimes. They revealed that such cases can be tackled if such organizations start to register users who log on to their networks.

Furthermore the panelists also stated that New Media has brought on a lot of regulatory and ethical issues adding that the situation brought about the need for the cybercrime act to combat crimes that can be committed via digital means, adding that the act has also granted security agencies right to monitor certain data and information.

They also revealed that the act is also meant to protect tech infrastructure, adding that the acts also states the kind of information ISPs are allowed to give, with the act also mandating ISPs to put additional checks for minors because of pornography.

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