Nigeria: law to curb cyber crime to be introduced soon!

The Cybercrime Act of 2013 poses serious threats to Internet freedom,the right to privacy and other essential civil liberties including the freedom of speech, expression, and the press.

For using profane language on other people or pelting them with insults or abusive words on social networking sites, Internet users in Nigeria risk a jail term that ranges between 12 months and five years. There’s even a death penalty included in the bill.

Section 18 sub-section 1 of the Cyber-Crime Bill 2013, which is pending before the House of Representatives, expressly states that anybody who
Insults publicly, through a computer system or network, commits an offence and will be liable on conviction to imprisonment, for a term of not less than five years or to a fine of not less than N10m ((£37,000) or to both fine and imprisonment.
Also, the bill prescribes a jail term of five years for anyone who circulates or makes any racist and xenophobic material available online.

If the Cybercrime Bill is enacted into law, authorities can intercept and record personal emails, text messages, instant messages, voice mails and multimedia messages, in order to facilitate a criminal investigation.

Cyber-criminals, who hide under the anonymity of the Internet to bully, harass other users of online platforms also risk jail terms when the law comes into full force.

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