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NCC opens link for stakeholders’ views on Internet Industry Code of Conduct

Ahead of growing use of internet and emerging rise in broadband penetration, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is set to develop what it described as Internet Industry Code of Conduct (IICC).

While explaining that the establishment of internet industry code of practice is part of its Internet Governance function, the agency said in keeping with its stakeholder-driven model of engagement, it has notified relevant agencies and industry groups on how to make their submission.

In a statement, the agency said “Extensive consultation of stakeholders is crucial to the success of developing a code of practice in support of an open internet”.

Some of the key stakeholders expected to make inputs include all Internet Service Providers in Nigeria, relevant associations (ISPAN, CPN, ATCON, ALTON, GSMA, Nigerian Computer Society, Nigerian Internet Governance Forum and several Government Ministries, Agencies, and Departments (NCC, NITDA, NiRA, NBC, CBN, Ministry of Communication, etc.)

Others are security agencies (NPF, EFCC, ICPC, NSA; interested multinationals (Facebook, Microsoft, Oracle; academia and the general public.

Stakeholders are expected to submit their input (comments, concerns, feedback, and suggestions for scope and content) via an Online Public Consultation Portal provided by the commission: http://www.ncc.gov.ng/internet-code-of-practice-consultation

According to NCC, submitted inputs will be taken into consideration in the drafting of the IICC.

The proposed Code of Practice seeks among other things, to protect the rights and interests of Internet Service Providers and consumers; provide jointly agreed and effective solutions to the issues of discriminatory traffic management practices and ensure adequate safeguards are put in place by service providers against abuses such as unsolicited messages.

The code will also highlight obligations of Service Providers in relation to offensive and potentially harmful content for minors and vulnerable audiences; promote the safe, secure and responsible use of Internet Services with due regard to provisions in existing legal instruments; establish best practices for Internet Governance in Nigeria, in line with emerging issues and global trends; provide transparent rules for the assessment and classification of Internet content and increase stakeholder satisfaction through improved consumer experience online.

On completion of the draft, NCC said it will be made available to stakeholders for feedback and change requests.

NCC noted that in line with its policy in developing critical industry regulations, stakeholders will be invited to a presentation of the draft at a special Stakeholder Consultation Workshop where they will be expected to critique and suggest improvements to the draft.

Apart from raising issues during the workshop, NCC said it will create a window for online public consultation via a Portal up until the final draft of the code is produced. Feedback received from key stakeholders via the Online Public Consultation Portal as well as during the Stakeholder Consultation Workshop will be harmonized and embedded into the draft from where the final code of practice will emerge.

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