Curbing Cybercrime : NCC to introduce Internet Code of Practice

Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Alhaji Ismail Adedigba speaking at the 103rd NCC Consumers Outreach Programme in Calabbar

Inyali Peter, Calabar

Nigeria Telecommunications regulatory body, the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has initiated a process to introduce Internet Industry Code of Practice to curb the increasing spate of cybercrime.

Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau of the Commission, Mrs. Felicia Onwuegbuchulam disclosed this during the NCC 103rd edition of the Consumer Outreach Programme (COP) held  on Thursday, April 4 in Calabar, capital city of Cross River State.

Onwuegbuchulam, represented by her deputy, Alhaji Ismail Adedigba said that with the liberation of the telecommunication industry which has led to the unprecedented increase in the usage and dependence on internet-based solutions and services, it was necessary for the Commission to take steps to protect consumers from cybercrime.

According to the Director "Realising that liberalization of the telecoms industry has led to an unprecedented increase in the usage and dependence on internet-based solutions and services, the Nigerian Communication Commission has initiated process to establish an Internet Industry Code of Practice for Internet Service providers in the country".

Explaining further she said that "The Internet Code is a regulatory intervention that will not only help to secure the country's cyber space against imminent threats from cyber attackers but also address such issues as online protection, privacy and data protection, objectionable content, among others".

She however added that "While the regulatory intervention and other initiatives are ongoing to sanitize Internet space, telecoms consumers, must play their role" by taking seriously, precautionary measures to minimize the effect of cybercrime.

Onwuegbuchulam noted that the theme of the programme, "Mitigating  Effects of Cybercrimes : The Roles of Telecom Consumers", was carefully selected to sensitize telecom consumers first; on the rising wave of cybercrime in its various forms, the dangers it poses as well as the roles they are to play in reducing the impacts of cybercrime.

Presenting the lead paper on the roles of consumers in mitigating the effects of cybercrime, the Head, Consumer Protection/Advocacy, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Ayanbanji Ojo said said that it was important for consumers to seek useful information on all aspect of cybercrime including types of crimes, mode of operation and how to report internet criminals to appropriate authorities.

He said that"Consumers should protect their devices from loss as they can become tools in the hands of cyber criminals who often steal them", adding that "because such theft are inevitable, consumers should always report loss of device to service providers, NCC or the Police so that the lost device can be deactivated".

While emphasizing that consumers should not wait to be victim before reporting cases of cybercrime, he added that they "should also be willing to assist law enforcement agencies with helpful information in prevention, detection and investigation of cybercrime".
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