In April, Nigerian news site Premium Times revealed government plans to purchase equipment that would allow it to conduct online surveillance on an unprecedented scale. The government reportedly had contracted with Israeli company Elbit Systems Ltd to advance the Internet and computer-based gathering of Nigerian citizens’ personal data.
While the blogosphere reacted in outrage, the government neither confirmed nor denied the allegation.
In May, warning bells exposing the government’s interest in digital surveillance rang once more. Nigeria was among the 11 countries discovered by Citizen Lab, a University of Toronto research center, to have FinFisher surveillance software in its possession. Gamma International, the UK-based manufacturer of FinFisher, describes its products as offering “governmental IT intrusion and remote monitoring solutions.” FinFisher products can obtain passwords from your computer, monitor Skype calls, and even turn on your computer’s camera and sound recording so as to watch you at work.
As sourcing in the Premium Times’ initial report was thin, many wondered if the coverage had been exaggerated. But when Minister of Information Labaran Maku gave an interview to Channels Television, the seriousness of the issue became quite clear….View full post
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