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Lawyers, IT experts fault cybercrime laws

Lawyers, IT experts fault cybercrime laws
Some legal practitioners and Information Technology stakeholders have faulted the recently passed Nigerian Cybercrime Act 2015 describing it as “socially deficient”.
The  stakeholders who converged at a Technology Outlook series in Lagos recently to review the cybercrime law agreed that the law was a milestone in the country however given that this the first time a legal framework to guide its affairs in the cyberspace was available.
The Cybercrime Act 2015 was signed by former President Goodluck Jonathan on May 15, to curb criminal activities on the internet.
The new Cybercrime Act, stipulates that any crime or injury on critical national information infrastructure, sales of pre-registered SIM cards, unlawful access to computer systems, Cyber-Terrorism, among others, are punishable offences.
The keynote speaker, Barrister Basil Udotai listed some legal constraints in the act to include decentralised and distributed enforcement framework, compliance, NSA act, doubtful impact of the cyber security fund, unnecessarily transactional in certain areas and special provisions on the financial sector and dangerous tendency for shifting focus.
He said the 2011 cybercrime draft act would have been better than the passed 2015 act which has “a lot of social deficiency.”
According to him, while the act provides a sigh of relief to telecoms subscribers and operators, there remains the need for all the stakeholders to work together to protect the internet link in the country against fraudsters.
He said the cooperation would be a key way through which the digital economy would be protected and carried on with legal framework.
He said, "The cybercrime Act though long in coming and beset with certain challenges components. It may be applied to effectively tackle Nigeria's cybercrime and cyber security challenges. But deliberate efforts have to be made by the key players working with stakeholders to make this reality."
Head of Legal Service of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr Emmanuel Edet said it was important to have the law in place adding that it would allow government curb online related crimes.
Edet said the law should take cognisance of all definitions as there were lots of interest in the system but certain fundamental flaws in the act should be addressed to meet international standard.
He called on stakeholders to engage all relevant authorities and agencies to find a way the law would be relevant in Nigeria.
He said it should not only be based on how the online criminal would be punished but also prevents it from being committed.
Also, President, Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria (CAFON), Mrs Sola Salako said the law would go a long way to protect consumers’ rights especially in the area of prepaid transactions.
Salako said consumers protection in online transaction was very important considering a lots of illegal deduction of money online business transactions

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