If you’ve been following recent developments in information technology in Nigeria, you’d agree with me that the use of mobile broadband and satellite technology in delivering essential services is on an upward trend and 2013 is shaping up to even deliver more gains. One of the fallouts of this is the recent cashless policy of the Central Bank which has motivated banks in the country to roll out various e-banking solutions to their customers. However, what legal cover do we have in the event of a cyber-related attack?

As an active user of some e-banking services, I’ve had my hands burnt several times. And unfortunately, the service providers for the e-banking solutions have “terms of service” limiting liability to such an extent that the user is left to grope without legal respite in the event of a security breach. And no, I’m not unmindful of the fact that we have the Criminal Code, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, the Evidence Act 2011 etc. But the point is not lost on us.
These laws were not designed to handle the kind of cyber threats we’re currently facing in the country. 

Several attempts have been made in recent times at providing a legal framework for protecting the Nigerian cyberspace. They include
the Cyber Security and Data Protection Agency Bill (2008), Electronic Fraud Prohibition Bill (2008), Economic and Financial Crimes Commissions Act (Amendment) Bill 2010 etc. However, these attempts have been unsuccessful. It is hoped that the current Cybercrime Bill before the House of Representatives would see the light of day.

As we conclude our discourse for this week, one point we’ve conceded so far is the fact that not much is offered by our current laws in protecting users of information and communication technology tools. Well, discovering our level of exposure might just help us in being a little bit security conscious. In the coming weeks, we would be taking a look at some of these threats and some interventions made so far.

Join me next week as we take this discourse even further!

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Nigerian Law Today

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