The New Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) Directive

The New Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) Directive

I recently wrote about the new Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) directive. It generated mixed reactions, as expected. Many are outraged, and others have gone to read through the new directive to indeed find out if this is true. A couple of people have specifically referred to words like monitor and interception in their plain every-day language without looking at the definition of the words, as used in the directive. I therefore thought it best to shed some light on the definition of these words, as given in the document, for those who do not have the time to read the whole document.

Page B117 of the Lawful Interception of Communication Regulation, 2019 clearly define the terms used in the document, as given below.

Monitor means the recording of communication by means of a monitoring device.

Monitoring device means any instrument, device or equipment which is used or can be used, whether by itself or in combination with any other instrument, device or equipment to listen or record any communication

Interception and cognate expressions shall be construed (so far as it is applicable) in accordance with these Regulations and shall include an interception of archived communication or communication in the course of its transmission, by means of a communication system if, and only if, another person

  • a) Monitor by means of aural or other acquisition of the contents of any communication

  • b) Modifies or interferes with the system, or its operation

  • c) Monitor’s transmission or archived data made by means of a monitoring device

  • d) Retrieves communication data on a communication system

  • e) Monitors transmission or stored data made by wireless telegraphy to or from apparatus comprised in the system, as to make some or all of the contents of the communication available, while being transmitted, to a person other than the sender or intended recipient of the communication

Page B110

10)1) Every Licensee (telco) shall take necessary steps as the commission may by way of notice direct from time to time, to install interception facilities that allows or permits interception of communications.

11) 1) Notwithstanding any other law in force, no Licensee (telco) shall provide any communication services which does not have the capacity to be monitored and intercepted.

2) Every Licensee shall within such period as may be specified by the commission, acquire all necessary facilities and devices to enable the monitoring of communications under this regulation.

3) The investment, technical, maintenance and operating costs to enable the Licensee give effect to the provisions of these regulations shall be borne by the Licensee.

The document also mentions a warrant will be required to obtain intercepted communication and lists the authorized agencies that can request the intercepted communication.

For more details, please read Lawful Interception of Communication Regulation, 2019 on NCC website.

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