Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA)

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INTERNET CENSORSHIP

The world’s technological advancement especially in the aspect of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has been so rapid and innovative.  Internet accessibility has been integrated into every gadget, making it easy and fast for everybody to access the Internet, contributing and/or consuming available information online. Over the years the Internet has proven to be the best and largest computer network where files/information of any kind can be easily shared and accessed with no restrictions. It has been noted that some people have taken advantage of this privilege in the negative form/direction/manner. These negative acts have forced the introduction of censorship on the Internet.

Internet censorship is the monitoring or control of files, webpages, contents that can be accessed, published, or viewed from/on the Internet. Censorship can be done by the Government, Private Organizations acting on Governmental policies or their own policies or by individuals out of fear of legal or social consequences that might arise from the misuse of the Internet.

Internet censorship can be in various forms. For example, a country might see some social media websites/platforms as a national threat thereby restricting citizens’ access to such sites/platforms. There are also Child Online Protection Act, Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, etc. These are all geared towards online protection of children and the youths.

The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), the manager of the Nigerian Internet resource, .ng, has policies, http://www.nira.org.ng/legal/policy, guiding domain name registrations. There are guidelines against registration of domain names, which can be termed offensive to the Nigerian community and the Global community.

In conclusion, whilst the Internet has helped many organizations and individuals attain global recognition, the wrong use of the Internet can also cause harm or infringe on the rights of other individuals/organisations/countries. Internet users are advised to be careful with the kind of content they upload and view because everything that goes over the Internet can be regarded as public content for public consumption and can be accessed by anybody.