Issue #25   •   Quarter 3/4 Edition   •   December 2018

Yetunde Akinloye Yetunde Akinloye

Yetunde Akinloye is the Head Legal and Regulatory Services, Nigerian Communications Commission. In this brief chat with The Communicator, she cautions on the implications of Net Neutrality, alerting parents to beware of what their wards are exposed to on the Internet.

Net neutrality in a nutshell

It is an open forum where people will like to put anything in the internet for people to listen, watch or read; it seeks to allow people do whatever they like online which is being advocated

Dangers of Net neutrality

If you say you can put anything online, what happens to online child protection? Our children have access to the Internet; it is pervasive, and that is what we’re working at that everybody should have access to the Internet. But that being the case, what are the contents, what are the things they’re open to, how do you ensure that children under a certain age are not going online to see pornography?

Much as we will want to see net neutrality, there must be checks and balance, because like with everything that has to do with humans, there is bound to be abuse if there’s no restriction on it. Just like your DSTV, as a parent you can ensure your children don’t see certain channels, it is the same thing when you go online if not everybody has access to any content.

Role of NCC

Unfortunately we don’t regulate the Internet; it is not our mandate. NITDA and NBC are the ones that regulate the contents that go online. But we all have the responsibility to as much as possible see that our children are protected from all these things.

Sometimes we get carried away by what the Internet offers and we just post things online because it is the in-thing. But unfortunately there are people who go online with sinister motives; parents have a serious responsibility. Humans, knowing what we are, if you give us an inch we’ll take a mile.

It is our responsibility as parents to protect our children because children may or do not know the implication of some of these things; taking a ‘selfie’ as it is called and posting it online or in the cloud. Have you bothered to know where that cloud server is, who has access to it, can I say you have my photos and cannot use them? These are the kinds of questions we should ask before we allow our children have access to all these things.