Information Technology, and by extension the internet, remains one of the most impressive scientific breakthroughs in history. From forging personal relationships to facilitating trade & commerce across all levels, life has generally been made simpler.
But this has also opened a new type of crime perpetrated usually across borders and by individuals with varying forms of malicious intent from theft and defamation to terrorism.
This in most legal jurisdictions, Nigeria included, is what has led to the creation of Cybercrime as an offence category and as a crime deserving of its own unique Legal Framework. This is what will be forming the focus of this article which will be looking at :-
– The major pieces of legislation governing Cybercrime in Nigeria.
– The agencies charged with the prevention of Cybercrime and the enforcement of legal provisions on Cybercrime via directives and sanctions.
– The legal classifications of Cybercrime in Nigeria.
What is the major legislation on Cybercrime in Nigeria?
Cybercrime in Nigeria falls under the jurisdiction of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition & Prevention) Act of Nigeria 2015.
What is the aim of this act?
The Cybercrime Act constitutes the major legal Framework for the definition, prevention and sanctioning of offences deemed to be cybercrimes in Nigeria.
What is the major body/agency charged with the administration and enforcement of all pieces of legislation on Cybercrime in Nigeria?
Cybercrime in Nigeria falls under a legal implementation and enforcement network coordinated by the office of the National Security Adviser(NSA) in collaboration with the Attorney-General of The Federation charged with developing the Regulatory Framework on Cybercrime in Nigeria.
This legal and implementation network is known as the Cybercrime Advisory Council and is made up of , among others, :-
– The Office of The National Security Adviser (NSA)
– The Federal Ministry of Finance
– The Federal Ministry of Justice
– The Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs
– The Federal Ministry of Trade & Investment
– The Department of State Security (DSS)
– The Nigerian Police Force
– The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
– The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
– The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC)
– The Nigerian Intelligence Agency
– The Nigerian Security & Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)
– The Defence Intelligence Agency
– The Defence Headquarters
– The Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC)?
– The Nigerian Data Protection Bureau (NDPB)
– The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)
– The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS)
What are the types of Cybercrimes under the Cybercrime Act of Nigeria?
Cybercrimes under the act can be:-
– Cybercrimes involving loss or damage to property :- Via hacking, typosquatting or virus transmission, etc.
– Cybercrimes causing harm,loss or damage to people :- Via cyberstalking, phishing, cyberbulling & defamation (libel & slander), deliberate punitive pornography leakage, etc.
– Cybercrimes against the state or public policy:- Via cyberterrorism, cyberwarfare, database intrusion,state secret leakage, etc
What are some of the offences listed under the Cybercrime Act of Nigeria?
Some of the offences identified by the act include:-
– Electronic message misdirection
-Operation of unregistered cybercafes
– Breaches of confidentiality and data/end-user privacy policies
– Electronic money transfer interception
– Email interception
– Data alteration & hacking
– Electronic fraud
– ATM/Payment Terminal (Point of Sale/POS) manipulation and hacking
– Online breaches of National Data infrastructure
– Copyright Infringement
– Online/Data Privacy violation.
What can companies in Nigeria do to prevent falling victim to Cybercrime?
Apart from ensuring adequate Cyber-security measures, companies need cyber or experienced Tech lawyers for the purposes of :-
– Rendering detailed advisory services on the provisions of all Cybercrime, Cyber-security & Tech legislation in Nigeria.
– Ensuring regulatory compliance especially in the area of rendering Data Protection Regulations compliance returns.
– Having experienced and diligent legal input in the drafting and documentation of IT policies , Terms and Conditions agreements, Data Protection & Password policies, as well as IT Service Level Agreements & Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs).
– Rendering sector-specific Cyber-security regulation advisory services e.g. Advisory services on the Central Bank of Nigeria Cyber-security Framework for Other Financial Institutions (OFIs).