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Monday, September 26, 2016

Cybersecurity Treaty: Nigeria yet to request accession 12 years after

Barely 12 years after the Budapest Convention on Cyber Security was put to force, Nigeria, the most populated black nation in the world may be foot-dragging over cyber security as it has not extended request for accession of this important Treaty, reports ITRealms.

Secretary of the Cybercrime Convention Committee (T-CY) Council of Europe Strasbourg, France, Alexander Seger, disclosed this to ITRealms, explaining that an accession request would lead to an invitation to accede.

He pointed out that once the instrument of accession is then deposited Nigeria would become a Party and thus be able to cooperate with other countries on the basis of this treaty.

Although, Mr. Seger expressed optimism Nigeria would soon do the needful to bluster the nation’s cyber security efforts to align with the global status.

“I understand that the Government (of Nigeria) is considering an accession request,” he said expectedly.

ITRealms gathered that the Convention was drawn up by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France in 2001 with the active participation of the Council of Europe's observer states like Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United States.

Equally, ITRealms gathered that the convention or treaty entered enforcement phase three years after the draft was made on 1 July 2004, though as at time of filing this report, September 26, 2016,  49 states have ratified the convention, even as six states had signed the convention awaiting ratification.

The Convention, ITRealms gathered is the first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks, dealing particularly with infringements of copyright, computer-related fraud, child pornography and violations of network security. In addition, it contains a series of powers and procedures such as the search of computer networks and interception.

Seger further listed some of the benefits of the Convention for Africa to include increased trust and efficient cooperation with other Parties, just as it would pave the way for participation in future standard setting, enhanced trust by private sector, technical assistance and capacity building to name a few.

Nigeria, ITRealms recalls only had a Cyberlaw passed in 2015 with lots of flaws already noticed including the reported fact that’s victims could be sanctioned to the tune of N2m for failure to report cyber-attack on his or her systems or networks.

Recent reports revealed that the Nigeria Cybercrime Act 2015 stated that “any person or institution, who operates a computer system or a network, whether public or private, must immediately inform the National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Coordination Center of any attacks, intrusions and other disruptions liable to hinder the functioning of another computer system or network, so that the National CERT can take the necessary measures to tackle the issues.”

Also, the sub-section 2 inter alia stated “In such cases mentioned in subsection (1) above, and in order to protect computer systems and networks, the National CERT Coordination Center may propose the isolation of affected computer systems or network pending the resolution of the issues.”

ITRealms further gathered that the sub-section 3 of Section 21 stated “persons or institutions who are unable to report such incidents in a space of 7 days commits an offence for denial of Internet services and should pay ₦2 million into the National Cyber Security Fund.”

Remmy Nweke with additional report by Nenye Dom/GEE

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