Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is seeking input from the public, to the document establishing internet industry code of practice.
As a result, the commission is inviting all affected and interested parties as well as the general public to a Stakeholder Consultation on the matter.
NCC said that as part of its Internet Governance functions, it seeks input from stakeholders in the development of a code of practice in support of an open internet.
The Commission favours a multi-stakeholder model of engagement in the process of policy development for Internet Governance.
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; Ensure adequate safeguards are put in place by service providers against abuses such as unsolicited messages; Outline the 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; Increase stakeholder satisfaction through improved consumer experience online.
According to NCC, an extensive consultation of stakeholders is crucial to the success of this exercise.
The commission, however identified some key stakeholders including : All Internet Service Providers in Nigeria, relevant Associations (ISPAN, CPN, ATCON, ALTON, GSMA, Nigerian Computer Society, Nigerian Internet Governance Forum, among others.
Others included Government Ministries, Agencies, and Departments, Security Agencies , Interested multinationals like Facebook, Microsoft, Oracle, the academia and the General Public.
Stakeholders are expected to submit their input, comments, concerns, feedback, and suggestions for scope and content through Online Public Consultation Portal.
The commission also promised make available a draft of the Internet Industry Code of Practice to stakeholders for feedback and change requests when ready even as they also stand a chance to 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.
Stakeholders will also be able to submit their critiques and suggestions via the Online Public Consultation Portal up until the final draft of the code is produced.
NCC said that Feedback received from key stakeholders via the Online Public Consultation Portal as well as during the Stakeholder Consultation Workshop will be factored into the transitioning of the draft into the final code of practice.
The web link for the online public consultation portal for the establishment of internet industry code of practice is: http://www.ncc.gov.ng/internet-code-of-practice-consultation
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