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Open letter to The Hon. Minister of Communication, By Umar Ardo, Ph.D

Open letter to The Hon. Minister of Communication, By Umar Ardo, Ph.D

 

Suggestion: 13 Categories of Internet Content for Prohibition in Nigeria

By Umar Ardo, Ph.D

Dear Hon. Minister of Communication, I congratulate you on your well-deserved appointment by President Mohammadu Buhari. Having watched your testimony at Senate Confirmation Screening, and having also known you as an Islamic Preacher (though despite of it), I am convinced that you are the right person for the job. I therefore pray that Almighty Allah help and guide you in discharging the onerous national assignment most effectively.

  • Dr Ardo*

No doubt, you are holding a most challenging job with the greatest potentials of molding the lives of  present and future generations of Nigerians. The Internet, otherwise known as the World Wide Web (WWW), which comes under your ministry, probably today is the most influential tool in shaping our people’s education, character and therefore their lives. If handled properly it is a beautiful tool that can positively impact on our society, especially on our youth. But if lackadaisically handled, as it seems to be presently, it has the potency of destroying the very fabric of our society and our future. U will agree with me that we are today leaving in the internet age and a whole lot of human activities are carried out through the invisible loop. I don’t need to say much because I know you know.

As it currently affects Nigeria, a lot of negative activities with serious consequences to our country are being daily exposed. These need to be curbed. Many countries, including the United States 🇺🇸, have taken similar steps in order to protect their societies against immortality, crimes, drug addiction, piracy, extremism, espionage, etc. It is to this end that I outline below the following points suggesting some form of state moderation to the use of the WWW in our country. I believe if taken, it will not in anyway affect the positive features of the internet, but will instead curb the major negative features and thus protect our society.

I therefore respectfully suggest that you block those aspects with the following tendencies:-

  1. Internet Content for Bypassing Blocked Content – this category includes Internet Content that allows or assists Users to access Blocked Contents;
  2. Internet Content for Learning Criminal Skills – this category includes Internet Content that either provides instructions for or identifies methods to promote, encourage or provide the skills to commit illegal or criminal or unethical activities. These include bomb-making, phreaking (breaching phone security or phone service theft), scams and fraud, terrorism, evading law enforcement, stalking, lock picking, selling pirate material such as commercial software, music, videos or others;
  3. Dating Internet Content – this category includes Internet Content that provides online dating or matchmaking which contradicts with the ethics and morals of religious, traditional and cultural values of the peoples of the FRN, but exempting chatting services, chatting groups, social networking and forums;
  4. Internet Content for Illegal Drugs – this category includes Internet Content that provides information on purchasing, manufacturing, promoting and using illegal drugs;
  5. Internet Content containing Pornography and Nudity – this category includes Internet Content that contains material of a pornographic nature, or relates or depicts acts of homosexuality, nudity and sexual material (including stories, jokes, animations, and video) or Internet Content that promotes sexual activity, and Internet Content which promotes the distribution of the above material (such as Peer-to-Peer websites and links);
  6. Gambling Internet Content – this

category includes Internet Content that is relevant to gambling or such as gambling links, tips, sports picks, lottery results, as well as horse, car or boat racing;

  1. Internet Content for Hacking and Malicious Codes – this category includes Internet Content that distributes information and tools for hacking (root kits, kiddy scripts, etc.) that helps individuals gain unauthorized access to computer systems. Also it should include Internet Content that distributes tools or information for producing and distributing malicious codes such as viruses, worms or Trojan horses. But it should exempt information on security including ethical hacking;
  2. Internet Content that are offensive to Cleavages – this category includes Internet Content that contains material which expresses hate to cleavages as religions, regions, ethnicity, political ideology, etc.;
  3. Phishing Internet Content  – this category includes Internet Content where entities or persons falsely represent themselves as “legitimate” businesses or enterprises for the purpose of deceiving and obtaining form Users, valuable information such as bank account or email account information including details such as usernames, passwords, credit card details or bank account details. In local Nigerian parlance, the “Yahoo Boys Category”;
  4. Internet Content that downloads Spyware – this category includes Internet Content that downloads Spyware which gathers private information of the user without his or her knowledge;
  5. Internet Content providing Unlicensed Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service  – this category includes Internet Content that allows access to services which are prohibited in accordance with the TRA’s Voice over Internet Protocol Policy;
  6. Terrorism  Internet  Content – this category includes Internet Content of terrorism groups and related Internet Content that support terrorism and publish and distribute materials for terrorism or include material for training and encouraging terrorism or help to serve terrorism groups such as funding, facilitating communication and other direct and indirect services;
  7. Prohibited Top Level Domain (TLD) – this category includes Internet Content under a Top Level Domain names which offends against, or is objectionable to, or is contrary to public interest, public morality, public order, public and national security, Islamic, Christian or traditional morality or is otherwise prohibited by any applicable FRN law, regulation, procedure, order or requirement.

All the above categories are prohibited, blocked or strictly regulated in other climes. There is, in my candid opinion, absolutely no reason why we cannot do the same, seeing that failure to do so has adverse consequences to our society.

Thank you.

 

 

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