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Worries over 'lawful interception'

15 May 2013, 10:06

Lagos - Some telecommunications operators and journalists in Nigeria have called on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to review the draft policy on Lawful Interception.

The disgruntled mobile networks and individuals said the new draft policy, if formulated into a new law would give too much powers to the commission and security agencies to arbitrarily invade the privacy of citizens.

The call was made during a one-day review of the Draft Policy of Lawful Interception organised by Joint Action on ICT Awareness and Development (JACITAD), an umbrella group of technology media practitioners.

The event was held in Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday.

The President of Nigerian Guild of Editors, Femi Adeshina, said unlike Nigeria, most countries had lawful interception requirements.

"There are usually concerns of Lawful Interception. If we have such in Nigeria, it is only natural.

"In Uganda, South Africa and other countries, they have Electronic Communications Acts," Adeshina said.

Mallam el-Rufai, formal minister of the federal capital territory, who was guest speaker, said Lawful Interception was necessary in line with the Electronic Privacy Act but said,"We should never allow any law or regulation to give government a blank cheque to monitor citizens’ emails, phone calls, SMS without probable cause."

The NCC drafted a policy in February which empowers government security agencies to tap the communications of citizens.

- CAJ News

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