Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

 

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY LAW

Nnamdi Ebo 2 241x300 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY OF LAWLawyer Zone  | By Nnamdi Ebo.

Information Technology Law (or IT Law) is a set of recent legal enactments, currently in existence in several countries, which governs the process and dissemination of information digitally. These legal enactments cover a broad gamut of different aspects relating to computer software, protection of computer software, access and control of digital information, privacy, security, internet access and usage, and electronic commerce.

These laws have been described as “paper laws” for “paperless environment”. Legal enactments: The Computer Misuse Act 1990 [1], enacted by Great Britain on 29 June 1990, and which came into force on 29 August 1990, is an example of one of the earliest of such legal enactments. This Act was enacted with an express purpose of making “provision for securing computer material against unauthorized access or modification.” Certain major provisions of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 relate to:

  • “unauthorized access to computer materials”,
  • “unauthorized access with intent to commit or facilitate the commission of further offences”, and
  • “unauthorized modification of computer material.”

The impact of the British Computer Misuse Act 1990 has been limited and with the adoption of the Council of Europe, adopts its Convention on Cyber-Crime, it has been indicated that amending legislation would be introduced in parliamentary session 2004-05 in order to rectify possible gaps in its coverage, which are many. There is no comparable law like that in Nigeria. However, stake-holders in the information technology industry have been pushing for IT Law to be enacted by the National Assembly. In its place, the National Copyright Commission (NCC) is handling copyrights matters.

This Act when enacted by the National Assembly should apply to the whole of Nigeria, and its provisions should also apply to any offence or contravention, committed even outside the country, by any person irrespective of his nationality. In order to attract provisions of this Act, such an offence or contravention should involve a computer, computer system, or computer network located in Nigeria. The Information Technology Act should assimilate legal principles available in several such laws (relating to Information Technology) enacted earlier in several other countries like the UK or the U.S., with guidelines pertaining to Information Technology Law.

The government of Nigeria is required to appoint an Expert Committee to articulate propositions in this direction and submit as draft to the appropriate committees in both chambers of the legislative branch in Abuja. This IT Act should also incorporate contemporary standards and requirements and the Nigerian law in this regard. As we are lagging far behind and in the absence of proper law in place, the only recourse is to rely upon the traditional criminal law of Nigeria, i.e. the Criminal/Penal Code.

computer . lap top

This is highly insufficient for cyber crimes which is prevalent in Nigeria with the trite phrase ‘yahoo yahoo’. Cyber crime in Nigeria was even glorified in a popular music by Lagos-based crooner – Olu Maintain. A purposive updating and organic interpretation of the existing provisions of the Criminal code by the judiciary must be tried until the IT Act enters the annals of jurisprudence. Finally, the law-givers should introduce the concept of cyber forensics in Nigeria. The proposed IT Law (if it is in the works) should include some of the following electronics signature laws:

  • Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act
  • Uniform Electronic Transactions Act
  • Digital Signature And Electronic Authentication Law
  • Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA)
  • The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)
  • Electronic Communications Act
  • Electronic Signature Directive
  • E-Commerce Act
  • Digital Signature Law
  • Electronic Transactions Act
  • Criminal/Penal Code – Computer Crimes Statute
  • Electronic Security Act
  • Computer Crimes Act
  • Law on Electronic Commerce

Enforcement agencies: The Federal Government of Nigeria is fast embracing IT technology with the computerization of its ministries and agencies – many of them based in the various federal secretariats in Abuja and state offices. The government has everything at stake to ensure the safety of her secret and confidential documents. The Information Technology Laws of Nigeria should stipulate relevant enforcement agencies, entrusted with the task of enforcing the legal provisions and requirements.

Information Technology Lawyer: If this law comes into stream, the country will have a new area of law. An Information technology or IT lawyer is a professional who handles a variety of legal matters related to IT. The lawyer gets involved in drafting, negotiating, and interpreting agreements in the areas of software licensing and maintenance, IT consulting, e-commerce, web site hosting and development, and telecommunications agreements, as well as handling dispute resolution and assisting with the client’s Internet domain name portfolio.

An information technology lawyer works with engineering, IT, and other business units and ensures that customer information gathered by company is collected, stored and used in compliance with privacy policies and applicable laws. Duties also include providing high quality, specialized and practical advice in business-to-business and business-to-consumer arrangements and advising on issues like IT outsourcing arrangements, software and hardware supply and implementation agreements. An IT lawyer contracts for web site developers and consultants in relation to on-line projects; provide support and maintain confidentiality/know how agreements and contracts for Internet service providers and data protection advice.

No references & footnotes in this online publication. Checkout references & footnotes in the book.
To be continued next week.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Legal Method . Book Cover 202x300 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY OF LAWCulled from: Legal Method  | Author: Nnamdi Ebo  |  Published by LawLords Publications  |  ISBN: 978-978-49827-9-6  | 1st Edition 2012
Buy the book, Legal Method  |  Click  Bookshop
Nnamdi Ebo | [email protected]  |  © 2015 Nnamdi Ebo . All Rights Reserved

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