AN ANALYSIS OF LEGAL FRAMEWORK ON COMBATING CYBERCRIME IN NIGERIA

AN ANALYSIS OF LEGAL FRAMEWORK ON COMBATING CYBERCRIME IN NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

This research provides a conceptual discourse into the challenges of cybercrimes and the modes of curbing it. The modern society today faces with the greatest achievements of technical and technological development, associated by rapid expansion of information technology and automation of work activities in all social life spheres. Such development in modern society has brought a large number of facilities on one side while, on the other side the presence of deliberate misuse of this technological achievement has also created a number of problems and risks towards individuals and groups in the society in general and national safety in particular, the approach how criminals (offenders) commit crimes has changed. Digital general approach has opened new opportunities for unscrupulous behavior. Millions of Nairas/Euros have been lost by businesses and customers from the use of computers as part of the commission of the crime. In absence of technology and trained personnel to deal with this new threat known as cybercrime, the security agencies are challenged by specialized cyber offenders which are known as hackers because apart from managing to break into state institution websites they are able to have unauthorized access to information classified as state secret and top-secret. The research will be focusing majorly on the Nigeria perspective, the research will also focus on the variety of approaches from other jurisdictions, as well as the related problem of cybercrime from the perspective of governments, the private sector, academia and international organizations and how to combat cyber related crimes. Due to the global nature of computer crime, the general action in preventing and combating this type of crime, consists on building bridges of cooperation and coordinated action of all countries, and in this case of Nigeria in order to set international standards in the field of defense and security of information systems which standard would guarantee the success of a sustainable national perspective in combating threats from cybercrimes. In this thesis, among others we will present the global aspect of cybercrime, the legal infrastructure defining cybercrimes and their forms, in, the role of security institutions in combating crime in general with particular focus on tackling cyber challenges, current threats and future threats related to cybercrimes, the legal research methodology adopted in the collection of information is the doctrinal method. The findings of the research reveal essentially, that cybercrime legal responses are inadequate to fight cybercrime; those available could address cybercrime menace. It is therefore recommended that legislation needs to keep pace with e-crime, while some need reform to meet prevalent and sophisticated cyber challenges. Apart from awareness and culture, security measures (technical and non technical) will need to be put in place and enforced, as part of the solutions. This might involve raising penalties and increasing the seriousness of e-offences. The right culture should create a high level of awareness amongst stakeholders.

CHAPTER ONE GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

With the advent of the computer age, legislatures have been struggling to

redefine the law to fit crimes perpetuated by computer criminals.1 The crime is

amongst the newest and most constantly evolving areas of the law in many

jurisdictions. The rise of technology and online communication has not only

produced a dramatic increase in the nature of criminal activities. Criminals are

using cyberspace to commit numerous cyber crimes. Growing trends of

complex distributed and Internet computing raise important questions about

information     security     and    privacy.2The     Information     Communication

Technology (ICT) revolution has had impacts in almost every area of human

endeavour, from business, industry, government to not-for-profit organization;

ICT has simplified business process such as sorting, summarizing, coding,

editing customized and generic report generation in a real-time proceeding

mode. However, ICT has also brought unintended consequences such as

criminal activities, spamming, credit card frauds, ATM frauds, phishing,

identify theft and other related cyber crimes. Technology has integrated

nations and the world has become a global village. The economy of most

nations in the world is accessible through the aid of electronic via the internet.

Since the electronic market is opened to everybody (which also includes

eavesdroppers and criminals) the internet is a borderless regime3. The internet

is one of the fastest-growing areas of technical infrastructure development.

1 Ibikunle F., (2013) Approach to Cyber Security Issues in Nigeria: Challenges and Solution, Publication of Department of Electrical & Information Engineering, Covenant University Nigeria, Vol,1 No1 p1.

2 Chen H., & Wang F.Y., (2005) “Guest Editors' Introduction: Artificial Intelligence for Homeland Security”,IEEE intelligent systems, Vol. 20, No. 5, pp. 12–16.

3 Okeshola F.B & Adeta A.K., (2013) The Nature, Cause and Consequences of Cybercrime in tertiary Institution in Zaria , Kaduna State, American International Journal of Contemporary Research, Vol3. No9, September P1.

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Over the past decades, the growth of the internet and its use afforded everyone

this opportunity4. However, information technology revolution associated with

the internet has brought about two edge functions: that is on one hand, it has

contributed positive values to the world. While on the other hand, it has

produced so many maladies that threaten the order of the society and also

producing a new wave of crime to the world. The internet online business

services, which ordinarily suppose to be a blessing as it exposes one to a lot of


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