Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Internet Access in Nigeria and the surveillance brouhaha! #IRP13

Rumor has it that the federal government has awarded $40m contract to an Israeli firm to monitor Internet communications in Nigeria. Have things escalated, so badly? This is what happens when government officials fail to prioritize issues affecting us as a country. We can all count over 40 other things $40m would do to foster Nigeria's development. Instead, our dear government leader has chosen to channel it towards spy-ware et al.

Imagine typing or or any other social media websites for that matter and all you get is ACCESS DENIED! That is what this government's new pet project can result to... or is there any other way to look at it?

With the way things are going these days, it is not only the government that is worried about the internet-age and how much it is giving people too much power. Any organization who has read a blog post or a tweet by an offended customer might nod approvingly that indeed, a little of this power needs to be reduced through censorship and its like.

Today, a bank official advised me to always censor my tweets before broadcasting. The lady means well and yes, her advice makes a lot of sense. But knowing what premise she was speaking from, if she had her way, like President Goodluck Jonathan and other government officials who are afraid of the New Media, she would advocate that people like us should only have limited access on the Internet. Or worse, our messages should be monitored. More like, our mouth should be gagged.

Some are lobbying very hard for a gag on new age journalists/bloggers. Don't let them win the battle. Freedom of expression, information dissemination and its associates, have come to stay.

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