Here is a very important information from PREMIUM TIMES for the 47 million Nigerian Internet users. Big Brother, in the form of the Jonathan administration, is watching you, and your communication is no longer safe.
It is one of the most far-reaching policies ever designed in Nigeria’s history to invade the privacy of citizens.
The Jonathan administration secretly, and in open violation of lawful contracting procedures, has awarded an Israeli firm, Elbit Systems, with headquarters in Haifa, a $40million contract to help it spy on citizens’ computers and Internet communications under the guise of intelligence gathering and national security.
Elbit announced the contract award Wednesday in a global press release but was silent on the Nigerian destination of the contract. Its general manager, Yehuda Vered, opaquely announced that “Elbit Systems will supply its Wise Intelligence Technology (WiT) system to an unnamed country in Africa under a new $40 million contract announced on 24 April… for Intelligence Analysis and Cyber Defense,” but effusively claimed, in the statement, that his company is “proud to be selected to supply this unique system, which is already field-proven, fully operational and customisable.
“Elbit Systems is a world leader in the fields of intelligence analysis and cyber defense, with proven solutions highly suitable for countries, armies and critical infrastructure sites. We hope that additional customers will follow in selecting our highly advanced and cutting edge systems in these fields as their preferred solution,” Mr. Vered added.
Multiple and very reliable sources in the administration confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that Nigeria is indeed the “unnamed African country,” and with details from the Elbit statement, our sources say the contract will now help the Jonathan administration access all computers and read all email correspondences of citizens in what is clearly, an infringement on constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression.
No single policy of this administration has so far affected, in one fell swoop, the lives of 47 million citizens, a third of the Nigerian population and about four times the number of voters who brought the president to power two years ago.
Nigerian netizens, the horde of active citizens that use the computer and Internet, are the 10th in a global ranking that make them 27 per cent of Africa’s total Internet users, far ahead of Egypt [19th global ranking] and South Africa [37th in global ranking].
The growth path of the Internet in Nigeria has also been dramatic, rising from a mere 200,000 Internet users in 2002 to 47 million this year, according to data from the Global Internet user, one of the Internet audit groups.
This development has not always gladdened public officials in Nigeria many who have expressed open displeasure at the use of the Internet by social media activists and the power of its possibilities as an empowering medium for popular communication. The calls for regulation have been loud in both the administration and in the Nigerian legislature.
The earliest hint that the Jonathan administration had desires to invade privacy of citizens surfaced ealy April when researchers at the Munk School for Global Affairs at the University of Toronto alerted the world that Nigeria, Egypt, and Kenya were deploying Internet surveillance and censorship technology developed by an American company, Blue Coat, which specializes in online security. Blue Coat’s technology will allow the government to invade the privacy of journalists, netizens and their sources. Its censorship devices use Deep Packet Inspection, DPI, a technology employed by many western Internet Service Providers, to manage network traffic and suppress unwanted connections.
Civic groups kick against DPI because, they say, it makes it possible for censors to look into every single Internet Protocol packet and subject it to special treatment based on content (censored or banned words) or type (email, VoIP or BitTorrent Protocol).
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