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Nigeria Online Code of Practice: Key terms that concern individuals

The media and concerned individuals have expressed concern as regards the recently released Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries and Conditions for Operating in Nigeria. The draft was released by National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) under the supervision of Digital Economy Minister, Isa Pantami.


To begin with, NITDA has said Nigeria is at a crossroads due to the abuse of freedom given by the internet and that the law must put a stop to that.

What do you need to know? Well, IT News Nigeria has sieved out some terms that concern ordinary citizens.

NITDA stated that all Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries (Platform), be it Facebook, twitter or any other platform, shall include among other things:

* Disclose the identity of the creator of information on its Platform when directedto do so by a Court order. Provided that an order of this nature shall apply for the purpose of preventing, detecting, investigating, or prosecuting an offence.

If anyone shares or distribute contents against national sovereignty from abroad, that person who does so in Nigeria become that creator.

“*Concerning the sovereignty and integrity of Nigeria, public order, security, diplomatic relationships, felony, incitement of an offence relating to any of the above or in relation to rape, child abuse, or sexually explicit material. Where the first creator of the message in question is located outside Nigeria, the first creator of that information in Nigeria shall be deemed to be the first creator.”

However, on Disinformation and Misinformation, NITDA draft said “a user shall not be liable, without intent, for merely redistributing through intermediaries, the content of which they are not the author and which they have not modified.”

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So, this will give room for a lot of judicial interpretations when it comes to sharing Information from abroad that government sees as a threat to sovereignty whether intentionally or otherwise.

Furthermore, all platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Google, and others must “Preserve any information concerning a person that is no longer a user of a Platform due to withdrawal or termination of registration, or for any other reason, as required by law.”

NITDA said everyone must be aware of any ongoing litigations and therefore must not share any information that may interfere with any ongoing court case in the country.

“No content compromises the security or undermines the unity, integrity or sovereignty of Nigeria or promotes act of terrorism; and instigates public disorder or interfere with an ongoing investigation.”



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