Nigeria Closer To Bringing In Comprehensive Internet And Phone Spying System, Probably Complete With Third-Party Backdoors

from the now-would-be-a-good-time-to-think-again dept

One of the unfortunate consequences of the revelations about NSA spying on just about everyone is that it creates a false impression that such activities are really quite normal these days, and nothing much to worry about. This probably encourages nations that don't carry out such comprehensive snooping on their populations to think about doing so. In Nigeria, for example, a proposal is making its way through the legislative process that would grant the Nigerian government wide-ranging surveillance powers, as reported here by Premium Times:

If given a third reading eventually, approved by the House of Representatives, and signed into law by the president, law enforcement agencies will have the powers to monitor and seize Internet and phone data-including emails, text messages, phone records and more -- from several millions of Nigerians, a privilege many Nigerians fear will be abused.
Given what we now know about the NSA and GCHQ, those fears are obviously well founded. But it turns out that there is another interesting aspect of this move, which concerns the equipment to be used for the surveillance:
The bill came months after PREMIUM TIMES uncovered the federal government's secret $40 million contract to an Israeli technology firm, which will provide the technical infrastructure and the skill to snoop on the digital activities of Nigerians.

The clandestine programme, awarded to Elbit Systems, with headquarters in Haifa, will allow the government spy on citizens' computers and Internet communications and emails under the guise of intelligence gathering and national security.
In the light of the recent information about backdoors being placed in many key commercial systems, does anyone really doubt that the equipment to spy on Nigerians will have its own backdoors that the Israeli secret service can use to access the sensitive information gathered by the Nigerian authorities? Or that some or all of that will flow to the US and its allies? That's maybe another good reason for Nigerian politicians to think twice before going ahead with these dangerous and disproportionate plans.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2013 @ 12:22am

    The scary thing is that when the American Empire gets to its "disappear its own people by the millions" phase (as history has proven, every other nation in history to behave like this did that at one point down the road), everyone else will do the same because "...but that 'Land of the Free and Home of the Brave' democracy does it too!". Goodbye billions of unpeople around the world. We hardly knew ye.

     

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  2.  
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    Ninja (profile), Sep 26th, 2013 @ 4:15am

    That's the US taking the lead in a very questionable field. I wonder if that's what they wanted as a country. I'm betting it's not.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2013 @ 5:40am

    i suppose it has been black mailed by the USA and the UK to do something like this, probably more the UK as they seem to be taking over from the USA as arse hole country of the world! what the hell is Cameron thinking? even more relevant, what the hell is getting into on behalf of the USA?

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2013 @ 6:14am

    "Nigeria Closer To Bringing In Comprehensive Internet And Phone Spying System"

    This means they will put a stop to the email fraud - right?

     

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  5.  
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    Ninja (profile), Sep 26th, 2013 @ 6:43am

    Re:

    Or increase it with all the backdoors and stuff like that..

     

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  6.  
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    Headbhang, Sep 26th, 2013 @ 6:49am

    Welcome to the First World?

    I bet they probably heard about all those Princes and tycoon heirs trying to get their huge stashes of money to offshore accounts and now want to intercept the emails to claim the dough for themselves...

    After all, at their foremost University, a student is being praised for ludicriously applying "science" to prove homosexuality is wrong/impossible and hailed as a future Nobel prize winner. (Hey, if Obama got the PEACE one, why not?)

    If only they would follow the lead of the developed world in its GOOD aspects...

     

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  7.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Sep 26th, 2013 @ 7:56am

    Truly leaders...

    One of the unfortunate consequences of the revelations about NSA spying on just about everyone is that it creates a false impression that such activities are really quite normal these days, and nothing much to worry about.
    I always find it amusing in a sad kind of way how American politicians (and media) are always ranting about how America is the leader of the free world and a shining example and all that crap, yet when it comes to looking at real examples like this the "leadership" is almost always in the wrong direction. Reading this I just had a marketing slogan going round and round in my head:
    "America! Leading the world in overthrowing governments, setting up puppet regimes, creating terrorist groups, economic bullying and trampling national sovereignty for over a century!"...

     

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  8.  
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    TideMan (profile), Sep 26th, 2013 @ 8:14am

    Re:

    HA! Fat Chance.
    This will be a first though. US leading the way in taking away the few rights its people still had.
    The rest of the world will likely follow us into oblivion.

     

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  9.  
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    Get off my cyber-lawn! (profile), Sep 26th, 2013 @ 3:11pm

    I've been hired as a subcontractor on this project!

    The Finance Minister of Nigeria wrote me an email and offered me a job as a subcontractor for this project! All I have to do is cash this check, keep 20% as my contract fee and then send the rest back!

    FINALLY I will quit getting ripped off by all those damn Nigerian scams!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2013 @ 6:10pm

    Free open-source software and hardware, is humanity's only hope of privacy. Politicians and corporations will fail human rights, every single time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Kingtappa, Oct 1st, 2013 @ 12:50am

    This is not the best of moves, i don't really care what tech Nigeria is approaching..do the important first

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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