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General News of Saturday, 18 June 2022


Internet Code of Practice: NITDA gives Nigerians 8 days to submit review comments

Internet Internet

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has given Nigerians an opportunity to review the Code of Practice for social media and the internet, which it released earlier this week.

NITDA released the draft regulatory document titled: ‘Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries and Conditions for Operating in Nigeria’ on Monday, June 13, 2022, asking the members of the public to review it. The agency, however, did not provide a channel for feedback until Friday, June 17.

NITDA in a notice shared via its Twitter handle asks stakeholders to send their comments to its email: on or before 11:59pm Friday 24th June 2022.

Several stakeholders have been speaking against the Code, which seeks to regulate social media blogs and online publications. Specifically, African digital rights group, Paradigm Initiative (PIN), described the Code as a tool for the abuse of constitutionally guaranteed rights of Nigerian citizens.

What you should know

Part of the Code dictates that internet platforms including social media must:

Act expeditiously upon receiving a notice from a user, or an authorised government agency of the presence of unlawful content on its Platform. A Platform must acknowledge the receipt of the complaint and take down the content within 24 hours.

Act expeditiously to remove, disable, or block access to non-consensual content that exposes a person’s private areas, full or partial nudity, sexual act, deepfake, or revenge porn, where such content is targeted to harass, disrepute, or intimidate an individual. A Platform must acknowledge the receipt of the complaint and take down the content within 24 hours.

Disclose the identity of the creator of information on its Platform when directed to 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 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.

Exercise due diligence to ensure that no unlawful content is uploaded to their
Platform. Where a Platform receives a notice from a user or any authorised government agency that unlawful content has been uploaded, such Platform is required to take it down and ensure it stays down.