Cablegate: Nigeria and Gtc Proposal

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A


1. Overview: The U.S. Mission in Nigeria proposes
that GTC and the Mission partner with NITDA (National
Information Technology Development Agency) to combat
cybercrime, a well-known threat both inside and outside
of Nigeria through 419 emails. Increasingly, the
Government of Nigeria is concerned about the potential
destabilizing effect of cybercrime to Nigeria's banking
and commercial sectors. As a basis for combating
cybercrime, Nigeria's criminal laws must conform to the
newly emergent threat. Current laws did not foresee
information and communications technology (ICT) and its
possible criminal use. While Nigeria's private sector
in ICT has generated immense foreign and domestic
investment in this key sector, there are no laws or
enforcement institutions created specifically to
prohibit and enforce actions directed at these ICT

2. In addition, no country parallels Nigeria in
electronically generated 419 scams. While the Nigerian
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is
statutorily empowered to enforce Nigeria's financial
crimes laws, under which 419 falls, Nigeria's laws only
contemplate the traditional non-ICT environment.
Internet-based 419 scams are not legally covered at
present. Further, if a criminal is apprehended using
cyber-tracking means, evidence of his/her activities
may be inadmissible in Nigerian courts as the current
laws are mute on this subject. A recent judgment by
the Kaduna State Court of Appeals denied evidential
admissibility of a computer-generated accounts
statement on the grounds that the statement did not
meet the definition of a "book" as stipulated under the
Nigerian Evidence Act.

3. Recently, the GON - at NITDA's urging - established
a Presidential Committee on Cybercrime to examine the
need for cybercrime laws in Nigeria and what mechanism
is best suited for enforcing such laws. The
Committee's recommendations included the drafting of
new legislation dealing with cybercrime, formation of a
Nigerian Cybercrime Working Group (NCWG) to do public
education and gain National Assembly support for such
legislation, and the establishment of a separate agency
for enforcing new cybercrime laws. Two of the three
recommendations have been carried out; law enforcement
elements and the EFCC have resisted the establishment
of a separate enforcement agency for cybercrime. The
NCWG has drafted a Cybercrime Act, but it has not yet
been reviewed within the GON nor submitted to the
National Assembly. Relevant sectors of the GON
(primarily judicial, law enforcement, and intelligence
officials) as well as the National Assembly will
require technical assistance to understand the draft
law and its ramifications, as well as how it
articulates with traditional criminal law. Private
sector consultation and training is also necessary so
that telecommunications officials and related service
providers, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and
cybercafe owners are also adequately informed. The
NCWG is inadequately staffed to provide such technical

4. Project Description: The Mission seeks USGTC
professional(s) to assist the NCWG to brief GON
stakeholders on the draft Cybercrime Act (Phase 1), and
once approved, brief National Assembly legislators on
the Act (Phase 2) to ensure its passage. USGTC
partner(s) should be familiar with cybercrime laws in
the United States, Europe, and the developing world,
and be able to brief legislative bills concerning ICT
to non-experts. A combination of legal expertise and
computer/ICT skills is desired. Post would also want
the professional(s) to work with the NCWG to develop an
appropriate public education strategy for explaining
the issue of cybercrime and the enacted legislation to
Nigeria's ICT community and the media (Phase 3). As
part of Phase 3, we would also ask that USGTC
investigate if any of the current anti-spam software
might be used to assist in identifying and screening
out 419 emails - such information and software would be
useful to share with stakeholders here.

5. Timeframe: Post would anticipate conducting the
Phase 1 training in the last quarter of FY 04, and the
Phase 2 training in the first quarter of FY 05. Phase
3 would take place during FY 05.

6. Project Purpose/MPP Goals: Assisting the GON in
the area of cybercrime falls under International Crime.

7. Primary Contact: Primary contact for the proposal
is Margaret McKean, Information Officer, U.S. Embassy
Abuja, 234-9-523-2018,

8. Audiences: The audiences for the proposal are
relevant stakeholders within the GON whose offices will
be concerned with cybercrime and enacted legislation,
members of the National Assembly who will debate and
vote the draft Cybercrime Act into law, and members of
the public - particularly those sectors most concerned
with ICT. NITDA is the GON's chief agency for ICT
issues, and has strong support from President Obasanjo.

9. Cost Sharing: PAS does not have 04 funds to
contribute to this project; we may have limited funds
for local per diem and travel in FY 05, but another
continuing resolution would likely negate this
probability. INL has some funding for cybercrime,
which is primarily slated for law enforcement training
and assistance. The USGTC proposal is meant to
complement INL initiatives; however, INL funding will
not be able to contribute to the current proposal.

10. Follow-on: Through the EDDI initiative, the
Mission has already established a strong partnership
with NITDA; INL has a broad assistance program with law
enforcement and security agencies in Nigeria, and USAID
has a multi-year project with the court system. These
partnerships will dovetail in the Mission's efforts to
assist the GON deal with cybercrime, and particularly
Internet-based 419 scams.

11. Language requirements: English.


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