NGO Harps On Internet Freedom

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Paradigm Initiative has stressed the need for an enduring internet freedom in Nigeria in its policy brief.

Contrary to Federal Government’s plan to curtail internet privacy, the non-governmental organisation (NGO) said in the policy brief that internet freedom was needed because more than 45 million internet users in Nigeria were on the verge of losing their internet privacy on every form of Cyber-communication.

Paradigm Initiative had earlier commenced an action to a FOI Request on the $40 million Internet Surveillance Contract by the Federal Government.

This is in connection with   trending information revealing that command and control server for Funfisher, a product described by its distributor, Gamma International, as “Governmental I T Intrusion and Romote Monitoring Solutions” had been spotted in Nigeria.

Paradigm Initiative Nigeria’s Executive Director, Mr Gbenga Sesan, and Bankole Oluwafemi expressed their concerns over the intended abrogation of Internet Freedom by the FG explaining that the policy brief was imperative as its purpose was to promote advocacy towards public freedom in the cyberspace.

The brief raises pertinent issues concerning National Security and Internet Freedom, elaborates on scenarios and causes for concern and also gives recommendations on the way forward.

It draws analysis from the dawn of the democratic dispensation in the country to the contemporary administrative approach to internet freedom and the need for understanding the implications that could militate against our national growth.

Explaining why the NGO stood for internet freedom, its COD, Mrs Tope Ogundipe said “the absence of data privacy and lawful interception laws raises issues of possibility of grave abuse. A society in which perceived \enemies’ of the government could lose their fundamental rights in the name of keeping Nigeria safe cannot be said to be free and democratic. It is in the interest of all concerned that the internet surveillance and monitoring contract be annulled. Nigerians must also be sensitised to understand the direct and indirect implication of unchecked government access to the private data. Enduring internet freedom is in Nigeria’s best interest.