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Cyber crimes: Bill seeks 30-year jail term for offenders

Posted by By Chiawo Nwankwo, Abuja on 2006/10/04 | Views: 350 |

Cyber crimes: Bill seeks 30-year jail term for offenders


It recommends punishment ranging from N15m to N20m and a maximum of 30 years imprisonment for anyone who commits cyber-related crimes.

A bill seeking severe penalties for cyber crimes is now before the National Assembly.

It recommends punishment ranging from N15m to N20m and a maximum of 30 years imprisonment for anyone who commits cyber-related crimes.

The bill, which was exclusively obtained by our correspondent on Tuesday, also aims at securing computer systems and networks in the country.

It seeks to “protect critical information infrastructure by providing criminal liabilities and penalties for undesirable activities carried out by using computers and other information and communication technology devices.”

Sponsored by the Presidency, the proposed law is titled, “Computer Security and Critical Information Infrastructure Protection bill 2005.”

The 18-page document has appeared in the National Assembly Journal, 18, Volume 3 of July 13, 2006. It has already passed the first reading in the House of Representatives.

Listed in the bill are 19 computer-related offences.

They are: ”Computer fraud; fraudulent electronic mail messages, computer forgery; cyber-squatting; system interference; denial of service (by providers.); unlawful access to computers; unauthorised disclosure of access code; identity theft; cyber-terrorism; violation of intellectual property rights with the use of computers, using computers for unlawful sexual purposes.”

Part IV, Section 20 of the bill states, “The President may on the recommendation of the National Security Adviser, by Order published in the Federal Gazette, designate certain computer systems, networks and information infrastructure vital to national security or the economic and social well-being of the citizens as constituting critical information infrastructure.”

A presidential order in Section 20 might require audit and inspection on any crucial information infrastructure to evaluate compliance with the provisions of the Act.

But under the section, any person who infringes on the bill “commits an offence and shall be liable, on conviction to a fine of not less than N15million or imprisonment of a term not less than 25 years or to both fine and imprisonment.”

In all cases, only Federal and state high courts shall have powers to try offenders.

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