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The Law and the Use of Computers in Nigeria (1)

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People are currently serving jail terms in the UK and the US because they infiltrated other people’s computers that they weren’t told to. Similarly in Nigeria, some people’s liberty is currently being restricted because they use the computer to make   phony deals online. In Microsoft vs.  Alexander Pononsov, a  Russian court passed a  verdict  of  guilty  on a rural  school teacher  that  unknowingly  used  pirated Microsoft operating  systems.   The common denominator in the above scenarios is that the law took over, reduced all the computing technicalities into the desiccated vernacular of its trade and made prosecutions. But how effective and comprehensive are computers laws in Nigeria and  the  developing  world  at large as   compared to the advance countries. Remember we are all players in the same cyberspace, and hence faces the same threats.
The computer law in Nigeria is  way  underdeveloped and  hence  do not  meet  with the  contemporary  requirements of  the modern  information  and  technology age. We  lack  the  technical  resources,  expertise as  well as the  legal  framework to  tackle  cyber crimes  and  computer  crimes at  large. The  business environment  in  any country  is  greatly  strengthened by  the  security environment: therefore, serious  Techno-legal  ICT  training is required  for  judges, lawyers, law students, law  professors and corporate  executives in  Nigeria. A wise litigator now  in  Nigeria will be  looking  forth  to  writing  his MCP- Microsoft  Certified Professional which will  be  a stepping  stone  to  acquiring Techno-Legal  trainings. An MCP  attached  to  his   name  a  lone is an  intimidation  to  other litigator.
Now that the infrastructures in any country can no longer function without computers and networks, a well regulated computing industry instills a lot of confidence in computer related transactions and help guard against IT risk complexities. When the internet was  first introduced , it was  like a state of nature where internet browsers have unlimited freedom but gradually laws came up that limited what people can and cannot do on the computer. I often participate in a hackers forum on a website floated from Germany, today legislative laws  came up in Germany that  prohibited that site from being floated from Germany.
Computer law is mostly an eclectic amalgamation of concepts from existing law, which are applied to the relatively new technologies of computer hardware and software, e-mail, and the Internet. (Google tech Dictionary). However, there are several reasons why it is convenient to have a separate classification for computer law:
1. Solving legal problems that arose from the use of computers often requires some legal principles that are rarely encountered in the practice of law. For example:
A. Disputes about e-mail and web pages on the Internet extend across state lines, and may even extend across national borders. For example, there are technical issues in personal jurisdiction and which state’s law should be applied to the resolution of the dispute. To solve these legal problems, one must understand principles of an abstruse area of law, called Conflicts of Law. Instead of relatively firm rules with predictable results, as in most other areas of law, conflicts analysis can be characterized as choosing from a menu of possibilities.
B. Information stored on computers (e.g., software, data, trade secrets, confidential personal information) is generally much more valuable than the computer hardware. In order to protect this information, many of the concepts in the practice of computer law involve the specialized area of Intellectual Property Law, which includes copyrights, trademarks, and patents. Take the US for instance, in order to practice before the U.S. Patent Office; an attorney must have at least a bachelor’s degree in some area of science or engineering, a requirement that excludes nearly all attorneys.

2. Traditional concepts in law are being expanded by events in the area of computer law. For example:
A. Computer software is legally considered a "good". Unlike other goods, the "purchaser" only owns the floppy diskette or compact disk that contains the software, plus a license to use the software. The Uniform Commercial Code was amended by including Article 2B in the US patent  law to cover licensing of computer software.
B. Computer databases that contain erroneous information (e.g., false credit reports) can be harmful to people, which may give rise to a new class of torts, called infotorts
C. Hackers who use a modem to enter a computer without authorization and either (1) use its services or (2) alter records are committing a crime similar to burglary, but the traditional notion of burglary requires the criminal personally to enter the victim’s premises, which is not satisfied in the case of entry via data to/from a modem. Therefore, new laws were enacted to define computer crimes (Personally, I think it would have been preferable to change the definitions in existing concepts, instead of create new concepts, but no one would accuse the legal profession of honoring simplicity and economy.)
D. Authentication of evidence contained in files on a computer presents some new problems, because of the ease with which data in the file can be altered, and also because it is easy to alter the operating system’s date and time stamp in the directory.
E. Searches of computer databases provide access to information that was difficult to locate in the pre-computer age, which makes computer databases a major new threat to privacy of individuals.
The Internet has been revolutionary in giving anyone with a website the equivalent of a printing press or television transmitter: now anyone can broadcast their information or opinion to the whole world, without first going through formal review by a publisher. Many governments have reacted to the Internet with new censorship of both websites and readers’ access to the Internet. Furthermore, there has been widespread copyright infringement by people who post material at their website that was copied from other websites, or copied from books, without written permission of the copyright owner.

Law reacts slowly to new technology, With the exception of the telephone and typewriter, the technological revolution of the past century has left the law untouched. Law has dealt at arm’s length with technology, making new rules to cover air travel, genetic engineering, and the like, while the lawyers who do the work carry on with paper and pencil – until the advent of the computer.
The case in the developing world  need a deep focus, perhaps I might be wrong , maybe  a  deeper focus. Judging computer related crimes need  players with  adequate computer knowledge on  the technical  side. In Nigeria, law enforcement agent have little or no computer education  to combat  rising computer related crimes. We need a separate court for trials regarding computer related crimes and judges that are conversant with  bits  and  bytes, like  the juvenile court system in which lots  of  proceedings in the normal court  system doesn’t  apply  there. Surprisingly, the issue of laws  regarding computer crimes have not had adequate attention even in developed world. This is as a result  of  different interpretation of what  constitutes  a  computer  device and computer crimes at  large. For instance the newly elected state law in West Virginia  regarding computer crimes  states that :
Any person who, knowingly and willfully, directly or indirectly accesses or causes to be accessed any computer, computer services r computer network for the purpose of (1) executing any scheme or artifice o defraud or (2) obtaining money, property or services by means of fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises shall be guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned in the penitentiary for not more than ten years or both.
In the Alabama Computer Crime Act, the same issue has a different punishment and interpretation. Also, issues’ regarding definitions as regards to what is a data, computer network, computer programs etc have been interpreted in different ways under different State Laws in the US. This variance stress from Texas Statutes and Codes Annotated,, the State of Wisconsin Statutes, Washington Criminal Code in the revised code of Washington Annotated, and the Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated under Organized Crime and Fraud and so on.
Computer users and law enforcement agents in Nigeria need serious awareness by concerned agencies as regards to what constitute a computer crime locally and  in the cyberworld. Initially,  I  stressed on  the technical abilities  of all players involved in pinning  a computer crime, this  is  because  technical issues  are paramount  in both the investigation and prosecution  phase of  the crime . I was in a  cybercafé in Ikeja, then EFCC officials  stormed into  the café and instructed  every body  to pause, they  then  move  round to check  what  people are doing. I laughed because this is highly  unskillful and untechnical way of tackling a computer incident on the side of the law enforcement agents. People like us whether you shutdown your PC , we  can still backtrack what you were  doing . If you like unplug the power cord so that the system suddenly dies off I can still trace back your  activities  on the system. In fact format your hard drive I can still retrieve data from it.


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Shell to Sack 9,000 over Oil Output Drops

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Shell said on Wednesday that volumes of both Liquefied Natural Gas and crude production were down in the third quarter.

Shell to Sack 9,000 over Oil Output Drops

The oil major disclosed this in an update to the market, which also detailed plans to cut up to 9,000 jobs by the end of 2022 as it adjusts to the COVID-19 price collapse, according to S&P Global Platts.

Upstream production of oil and associated streams was significantly down in the quarter, in a range of 2.2 million to 2.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, from 2.6 million boe/d in Q3 2019.

LNG output was down in a range of 7.9 million to 8.3 million metric tonnes for the quarter, compared with nine million mt a year earlier.

In the update ahead of a full results statement on Oct. 29, Shell said its oil sales in July and August had reflected a 15-20 per cent discount to Brent pricing, similar to the second quarter, and its LNG business in the quarter had suffered a ‘significant impact’ from a lag effect in the oil-linked pricing of LNG.

It also highlighted refining weakness, with a utilisation level of just 64-68 per cent and margins “significantly lower” than in the second quarter 2020, and said it intended to reduce its refining footprint globally to less than 10 sites.

On its restructuring plans, Shell said, “Reduced organisational complexity, along with other measures, are expected to deliver sustainable annual cost savings of between $2.0bn to $2.5bn by 2022.

“This will partially contribute to the announced underlying operating cost reduction of $3bn to $4bn by the first quarter 2021.”

Worldwide job reductions of 7,000 to 9,000 are expected by the end of 2022, including 1,500 people who have agreed to take voluntary redundancy this year, Shell said.

It also said production levels in both the upstream business and the LNG business had been lower than in the second quarter, partly reflecting seasonal maintenance, but also the impact of hurricanes in the US Gulf of Mexico.

 

 

 

 

 


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Western Digital Unveils Speed, Portable SanDisk SSDs

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Western Digital Corp. yesterday released two new SanDisk® portable SSDs that offer nearly 2x the speed over previous generations. The SanDisk Extreme® and SanDisk Extreme PRO® portable SSDs are purpose-built to keep up with today’s high-quality content demands.

Professional photographers, videographers and enthusiasts capture and keep life’s best moments every day and they need reliable solutions that perform on the move at astonishing speeds.

With capacities up to 2TB*, the new NVMe™ drives are perfect for creating amazing content or capturing and moving incredible 4K and 8K footage with ease.

The flagship SanDisk Extreme PRO portable SSD features a forged aluminum chassis made to stay cool under the pressure of a heavy workload and a durable silicone design to withstand the rigors of production. The drives also help keep content safe with password protection and an upgrade to 256-bit AES hardware encryption1.

“When every second counts, I need fast and powerful solutions that work as quickly as I do. I rely on SanDisk SSDs to keep up with my creativity,” said Tyler Stableford, SanDisk Extreme Team member.

“As an artist, speed is one of my greatest strengths, and I know with the SanDisk Extreme line of SSDs, I can get the job done with greater efficiency and capacity, and I never have to worry about running out of memory wherever the job takes me.”

Rugged and Powerful SSD Performance

Designed with professionals in mind, the new SanDisk portable SSDs were built to reliably handle the most challenging assignments – whether at home, in the office or out on location.

The SanDisk Extreme portable SSD is a great go-to drive for those who need more memory and a durable and fast drive, while the SanDisk Extreme PRO was built for an avid pro who needs even, sustained performance and a drive that can go anywhere.

“For our customers, life is an adventure and they rely on us to raise the bar across our portfolio when it comes to delivering powerful solutions to consumers and professionals alike,” said Brian Pridgeon, director of marketing, Consumer Solutions, Western Digital.

“The SanDisk brand is trusted by professional photographers worldwide, which is why we built our Extreme family of drives to perform at the highest level. We amped up the speeds with the latest NVMe technology and used robust materials in our designs to handle the best shots and the most demanding jobs.”

Key Features

  • SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD

– Save time storing and transferring data with powerful NVMe solid state performance featuring up to 2000MB/s** read and up to 2000MB/s** write speeds.

– A forged aluminum chassis acts as a heatsink to deliver higher sustained speeds in a portable form factor.

– Up to two-meter drop protection and an IP55 rating2 make the drive tough enough to take on any adventure. The drive’s forged aluminum chassis and silicone shell design offer a premium feel and added protection.

– Helps keep private content private with password protection and an upgrade to 256-bit AES hardware encryption1.

  • SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

– Get NVMe solid state performance featuring up to 1050MB/s** read and up to 1000MB/s** write speeds in a portable, high-capacity drive that’s perfect for creating amazing content or capturing incredible footage.

– For added durability, the drive features up to two-meter drop protection and IP55 water and dust resistance2.

– Durable silicone shell that offers a premium feel and added protection to the drive’s exterior.

– Helps keep private content private with password protection and an upgrade to 256-bit AES hardware encryption1.

Ready to move, consumers can use the handy carabiner loop to secure the drives to a belt loop or backpack for extra peace of mind. The new drives are compatible with PC and Mac computers.

In addition to moving content to a PC or laptop, the new products also now allow users to back up mobile content quickly and easily thanks to compatibility with a range of USB Type-C™ smartphones.

Availability

The SanDisk Extreme and SanDisk Extreme PRO portable SSDs are backed by a five-year limited warranty3 and are now available at the Western Digital Store, and at select e-tailers and retailers worldwide.

The SanDisk Extreme portable SSD is available now in 500GB* and 1TB*, and is expected to ship in 2TB* later this holiday season. The SanDisk Extreme PRO portable SSD is available now in 2TB*, and is expected to ship in 1TB* later this holiday season.


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ID Africa Announces ‘Neusroom Untold’ In Celebration Of People, Places And Events That Have Shaped Nigeria’s History

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In celebration of Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary, ID Africa, Marketing, Media and Technology company and media platform, Neusroom have announced the Untold project, a collection of 78 stories about important people, places and events that have shaped Nigeria’s history and some little known facts that are yet to penetrate mainstream consciousness, especially amongst young citizens.

 

Nigeria was under colonial rule from 1900 to 1960. Sixty years after independence, the country has survived a civil war, endured eight military coups and rule, and grown to become one of the most populous black nations on earth. With a GDP of $376.3bn, and $1.2 trillion PPP, Nigeria is ranked by the IMF as the largest economy in Africa. But many of the stories, ideas, and events that can unite, motivate, and inspire the mostly youth population appear to have been forgotten.

 

The Untold project is in line with the Neusroom’s long-term mission to research, document and publish important stories about Nigeria and its people.

 

The collection includes the work of six Neusroom and Netng writers published over the past two years, and are being presented to the world in honour of the country’s 60th year of breaking free from colonial rule.

 

At a critical time when access to historical facts  and verifiable information on some of Nigeria’s most important people, places and events has become a challenge for the younger generation, Neusroom is taking a position as a reliable information outlet by providing the public with credible, verifiable, and objective information about Nigeria and other African nations.

 

The Untold project includes profiles of some of Nigeria’s most revered and celebrated personalities such as potter Ladi Kwali, and Alimotu Pelewura, a fish seller who led Lagos market women’s protest against colonial masters. It also includes the detailed account of how Kudirat Abiola fought valiantly to ensure her husband’s mandate as elected President was returned to him, and how Samuel Okwaraji slumped and died on the football field while representing Nigeria.

 

Events and places such as the Nigerian Civil War, the Oyo town where every household has a set of twins, and the Kiriji war which is popular as the world’s longest ethnic war that pitched powerful Yoruba towns against Ibadan, also make up a part of the collection.

 

The collection which will be updated quarterly, is aimed at serving as a source of entertainment, knowledge and insight, in easily digestible formats, for today’s youth and future generation of Nigerians.

 

Speaking on the idea behind the project, ID Africa CEO, Femi Falodun says, “We are using Nigeria’s 60th Independence celebration as an opportunity to share some of the most remarkable stories we’ve curated over the past few years with a wider audience of young Nigerians who may not have previously known about these people, places and events.

 

Our ultimate goal for the Neusroom Untold Project is to document obscure parts of Nigeria’s past and recent history in short multimedia formats that are interesting, easy to read and readily accessible to anyone on the internet. And as history is constantly being made, we believe that this project will always be work-in-progress.”

 

Ayeni Adekunle, founder and publisher of Neusroom and Netng, said, “With The Neusroom Untold Project, we are celebrating Nigeria’s journey as a progressive nation with a spotlight on all of its important contributors whose stories may have been lost in the archives or not being told at all.

 

“We have and will continue to put together, through a thorough editorial process, this project which reflects the country’s rich history, achievers and events that particularly young Nigerians will find interesting and useful.”

 

Since it was founded in 2015, Neusroom has been a trailblazer in telling the most relevant and impactful Nigerian stories. In June 2020, the ID Africa-owned platform unveiled The Neusroom 100 Project, in recognition of 100 people, organizations, countries, and things helping the world fight the pandemic and flatten the COVID-19 curve.

 


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