By John Austin Unachukwu
Lagos based lawyer, Mr. Akinkunmi Akinwunmi, has blamed the challenges of cybercrime, invasion of privacy, election meddling, hate speech, fake news and dissemination of obscene content globally on over reliance on the internet.
He said these “deleterious conducts have resulted in data loss, reputational damage, loss of revenue, infringement of intellectual property, attack on sovereignty and critical national infrastructure,” he said.
Akinwunmi spoke at the public presentation of his new book on internet law.
The book ‘The Nigerian Internet Law’ was launched and presented to the public at The Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos under the chairmanship of Mr. Gbenga Oyebode.
Special Guest of honour was President of the National Council of The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Abimbola Ogunbanjo, who was represented at the event by the NSE’s Head of Intellectual Property and Technology, Mrs. Nkem Isizor. The book presentation also featured a seminar on the digital economy which was delivered by the Executive Head, Legal, Regulatory and Compliance of Vodacom, Mr. Kolawole Fayemi.
Akinwunmi said: “The book is a groundbreaking work, which explores what is mostly uncharted territory in the Nigerian legal system.
“It provides legal perspectives on internet activities based on laws, regulations, judicial decisions, and global development. The book has over 600 pages with detailed analysis on the concept of the internet and various internet-related issues”.
The author explained that the internet also known as cyberspace, is a global system of interconnected networks of computers and other communication devices that use standardised communication protocols to link devices worldwide to provide a variety of information and communication services.
He analysed how the internet has changed the world as we know it, how it has permeated virtually all aspect of human actions. How it has made it easier to communicate, network, share contents and transact businesses.
He also explained how the development of various innovative online products has made humans dependent on the internet and how it has led to a surge in global Internet usage.
According to him, out of the 7,753,483,209 people in the world, up to 4.33 billion use the internet (as of July 2019) accounting for more than 56 percent of the world population.
“Also, as of August 2019, Nigeria had 122,975,740 internet users. Accordingly, internet penetration in Nigeria between 2000 and 2019 is estimated at 61.064%”, he said.
Akinwunmi noted that on the downside, the continuous reliance of humans on the internet had created the challenges of cybercrime, invasion of privacy, election meddling, hate speech, fake news and dissemination of obscene content globally.
He said the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) Act was enacted in 2015 to combat the problem in Nigeria.