The Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill, 2019 (SB 132), has scaled second reading in the Senate. The Bill which has generated strong reactions from the public, proposes a framework regulating the use of the internet and its intermediaries for the transmission of information in Nigeria.
Leading the debate on the Bill at the plenary session of Wednesday, 20 November 2019, Sen. Mohammad Sani Musa (APC: Niger) explained that the Bill sought to address the threat and mitigate against the risk associated with information via internet networks by monitoring abuse and deliberate misconduct.
In his submissions, he mentioned the highlights of the Bill to include:
- Provisions for the issuance of regulations dealing with the transmission of false statements of facts;
- Issuance of guidelines for internet intermediaries and providers of mass media services;
- Introduction of measures to allow offenders plead their case with a law enforcement department and seek further redress in appropriate courts; and
- The provision of penalties for defaulters.
Sen Musa stated that the Bill, if passed, would address the menace of fake news and falsehoods in media broadcast and transmissions. The Bill has been referred to the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters for further legislative action.