The Cybercrime Act is a 43 sections enactment which underscores the entire guiding rules. I will endeavour to mention and explain in my paper some of the offences provided by the act and how journalists can be victims of same, thus;

  1. The Act empowers the President to designate certain Computer systems or networks as critical national information infrastructure and offences committed against a system or network that has been designated critical national infrastructure of Nigeria can be punished with a death sentence or lesser punishment depending on the scale of the offence.
  2. Unlawful accessto a computer.
  3. Registration of Cybercafe
  4. System interference
  5. Intercepting Electronic Messages and Emails Electronic Money Transfers.
  6. Tempering with Critical Infrastructure.
  7. Willful misdirection of Electronic Messages.
  8. Unlawful interceptions
  9. Computer Related Forgery.
  10. Computer Related Fraud
  11. Theft of Electronic Devices.
  12. Unauthorized modification of computer

systems, network data and System interferenc

  1. Electronic Signatures.

14 Reporting of Cyber Threats.

  1. Identity theft and impersonation.
  2. Child pornography and related offences.
  3. Cyberstalking.
  4. Cybersquatting.
  5. Racist and xenophobic offences.
  6. Attempt, conspiracy, aiding and abetting.
  7. Importation and fabrication of E-Tools.
  8. Breach of Confidence by Service Providers.
  9. Manipulation of ATM/POS Terminals
  10. Phishing and Spamming,
  11. Spreading of Computer Virus.
  12. Electronic cards related fraud.

26.Dealing in Card of Another.

  1. Purchase or Sale of Card of Another.
  2. Use of Fraudulent Device or Attached E-mails

and Website

  1. Interception of electronic communications.
  2. Obstruction and refusal to release information

However, in line with the core principles of media ethics and journalism, media houses, institutions and stakeholders alike are expected to strive towards complying with the ethical ideals. Journalists must understand that media plays a very important role as an informer, motivator or leader for healthy democracy at all levels. Therefore, the ideals and opinions expressed via the media go a long way in ensuring that democratic ideals are protected and maintained or wrongly opposed. It is to this end that the media industry owe a duty of diligence and the prioritization of facts over sensationalism and prejudice.

The Cyber Crimes Act 2015 is one of those laws which affects media usage by criminalizing a wide range of acts such as cyber stalking, child pornography, cybersquatting, phishing spamming and fake news. It behoves on the government to apply the law properly to suit the sensibility for which it was enacted for in much the same way media houses, firms and practitioners must operate by the superintending ethics of the media profession. It is only the synergy of such demonstrable acts in good faith by government and the media that a proper and rewarding balance can be found in the media space.

Pelumi Olajengbesi Esq. is a Legal Practitioner and Managing Partner at Law Corridor.

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