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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) hereby invites all affected and interested parties as well as the general public to a Stakeholder Consultation on the establishment of an Internet Industry Code of Practice.

Overview

As part of its Internet Governance functions, the Nigerian Communications Commission seeks input from stakeholders in the development of a code of practice in support of net neutrality and an open internet. The Commission favours a multi-stakeholder model of engagement in the process of policy development for Internet Governance.

Objectives of the Internet Industry Code of Practice

The proposed Code of Practice seeks, among other things, to:

  1. Protect the rights and interests of Internet Service Providers and consumers;
  2. Provide jointly agreed and effective solutions to the issues of discriminatory traffic management practices;
  3. Ensure adequate safeguards are put in place by service providers against abuses such as unsolicited messages;
  4. Outline the obligations of Service Providers in relation to offensive and potentially harmful content for minors and vulnerable audiences;
  5. Promote the safe, secure and responsible use of Internet Services with due regard to provisions in existing legal instruments;
  6. Establish best practices for Internet Governance in Nigeria, in line with emerging issues and global trends;
  7. Provide transparent rules for the assessment and classification of Internet content;
  8. Increase stakeholder satisfaction through improved consumer experience online;
  9. Improve competition by addressing issues of traffic management;
  10. Improve operational efficiency.

Developing the Code

Development of the Internet Industry Code of Practice will entail:

  • A review of existing Internet Industry codes of practice across various jurisdictions, to determine and incorporate global best practices
  • A review of the relevant guidelines, regulations, and legislations currently in place in Nigeria, to ensure that the code of practice produced is in conformity
  • Extensive consultation of key stakeholders on scope and content of code
  • Publication of a draft code for review and feedback by stakeholders
  • Incorporation of stakeholder feedback into draft code
  • Production of final document

Literature Review

The Internet Industry codes of practice selected from across the globe for review include examples of self-regulation, government regulation, and co-regulation. Some of the countries and regions whose codes are included in the review are as follows:

  1. Australia
  2. Brunei
  3. The Caribbean
  4. Malaysia
  5. Malta
  6. Republic of Ireland
  7. Singapore
  8. South Africa
  9. United Kingdom

The Nigerian legislation, regulations, and guidelines to be considered include:

  1. Nigerian Communications Act 2003
  2. Guidelines for the Provision of Internet Service (published by the NCC)
  3. Consumer Code of Practice Regulations, 2007
  4. The Cybercrime Act 2015
  5. National Cybersecurity Policy, 2014
  6. Nigeria Child Online Protection Policy, 2014
  7. Copyright Act 2004

Links to all the documents included in the review can be found here.

Stakeholder Consultations

Extensive consultation of stakeholders is crucial to the success of this exercise. Key stakeholders identified include:

  • All Internet Service Providers in Nigeria
  • Relevant Associations (ISPAN, CPN, ATCON, ALTON, GSMA, Nigerian Computer Society, Nigerian Internet Governance Forum, etc.)
  • Government Ministries, Agencies, and Departments (NCC, NITDA, NBC, CBN, Ministry of Communication, etc.)
  • Security Agencies (Police, EFCC, ICPC, NSA, etc.)
  • Interested multinationals (Facebook, Microsoft, Oracle, etc.)
  • Academia
  • The General Public

Stakeholders are expected to submit their input (comments, concerns, feedback, and suggestions for scope and content) via this portal. Input submitted via this facility will be taken into consideration in the drafting of the Internet Industry Code of Conduct.

A draft of the Internet Industry Code of Practice will be made available to stakeholders for feedback and change requests when ready. Stakeholders will be invited to a presentation of the draft at a special Stakeholder Consultation Workshop where they will be expected to critique and suggest improvements to the draft.

Stakeholders will also be able to submit their critiques and suggestions via this portal up until the final draft of the code is produced.

Feedback received from key stakeholders via the Online Consultation Facility as well as during the Stakeholder Consultation Workshop will be factored into the transitioning of the draft into the final code of practice.

Comments (5)

  1. JOY OKORODUDU

Thank you for this laudable initiative, it will bring about the much desired sanity in the industry.

I am particularly concerned with children's access to undesired sites, how can these sites be restricted at source and how can defaulters be panalised?

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  1. Babagana Digima

I have two proposals 1 regarding protection of minors and 2 regarding posting of insults/violent/derogatory comments by internet users.

Suggested solution to protection of minors is to for Operators to tag SIMs/IMSIs registered to minors with MINOR tag such that some websites/contents are automatically barred from reaching such SIM/IMSI.

Secondly, We should mandate all websites/webpages hosted or belonging to Nigerian company's such as newspapers, blogs, chat groups etc. to always capture the user names, IP addresses and Phone numbers (where applicable) for individuals posting messages or comments and make it readily available for law enforcement in cases where such users continue to encourage violence, threats and derogatory statements/remarks on public forums. Those websites should also display warnings as such to discourage the perpetrators of such acts.

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  1. Tina Adem

The Internet Industry Code of Practice is a welcome idea because some issues like unsolicited messages are very disturbing. Also, the safety of the Child Online should be guaranteed, the web is very vast and children go to web for their academic works, games etc.

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  1. Moradeyo Kayode Onamusi

Impressive initiative!

Control of Internet access by minors and vulnerable audiences in Nigeria is imperative because the Internet is filled with a lot of information that could have even worse implications on Nigerians that are already demoralized by the current economic situation.

The other thing is the need to control and regulate media communications that portray the news by publicly issuing licenses to qualified media companies and sanctioning them accordingly whenever they broadcast misleading information that cause no promote negativity in the minds of Nigerians.

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Contribution to the Stakeholder Consultation on the Establishment of Internet Industry Code of Practice(ATTACHED)

Submitted by: Engr. Kunle Olorundare,


Technical Standards and Network Integrity,
Nigerian Communications Commission.

 
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