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Digital Rights: Surveillance, Interception Must Be Lawful- PIN



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Participants at a workshop on Digital Rights and Cybercrimes have called for increased capacity building for law enforcement agencies on handling issues related to cybercrimes in Nigeria.

The workshop, organized by Paradigm Initiative in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Justice recently, focused primarily on section 24 and 38 of the Nigeria’s Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015 and called for respect of the citizens’ digital right especially with regards digital surveillance and call interceptions.

According to Adeboye Adegoke, program manager at Paradigm Initiative, “the focus on the two sections was deliberate. We focused on those sections because they are prone to be misapplied to infringe on the digital rights and freedoms of citizens, especially freedom of expression and privacy online.

“Section 24, in particular, has already been cited in more than ten documented cases of alleged illicit arrest and abuse of rights. Provisions of Sections 24 and 38 of the Act were examined at the workshop as they are believed to be threats to digital rights in Nigeria.  Section 24 poses a threat to freedom of expression online while section 38 gives security agencies the right to hold on to citizen’s information, thereby violating their rights to privacy of their information online.”

The workshop which provided an opportunity for participants to review cases of arrests related to sections 24 and 38 of the Act and the effects of these arrests on citizens. Participants were drawn from the Nigerian Police Force and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from various states in Nigeria and the FCT.

Mr ‘Gbenga Sesan, executive director, Paradigm Initiative while introducing participants to Digital Rights, highlighted the importance of the internet to democratic participation in Nigeria, and stressed that though rights in the digital realm exist, they are not respected. He spoke on the provisions in the Cybercrimes Act 2015 that give law enforcement agents access to citizen’s data and how these provisions are prone to abuse.

He illustrated with examples of ways in which files in government offices and Nigerian courts are currently being handled.

According to him, “Surveillance and Interception must be lawful, with clearly stated procedures and clear judicial oversight to avoid abuse. Respect for human rights in the day to day activities of law enforcement officers helps to foster citizen and security agency cooperation. It is well known that countries that focus on innovation rather than clampdowns avail themselves huge economic opportunities. This can be seen through the relationship between the GDP of those countries and the level of internet penetration and internet freedom”.

Also speaking to participants at the training, Mr. George-Maria Tyendezwa, head, Computer Crime Prosecution Unit at Federal Ministry of Justice stressed that we must differentiate between libel and slander from cyberstalking, and that one-time acts don’t constitute stalking mentioned in Section 24.

He advised anyone that feels defamed not to use the apparatus of the state to oppress anyone but to go to court for remedy

According to Tope Ogundipe, director of Programs at Paradigm Initiative, “we believe that law enforcement agents who participated in the workshop are better equipped in handling and managing cases involving Cybercrime as a result of this workshop. Our objective is to ensure that the Cybercrimes Act 2015 does not become an instrument of oppression in the hands of the powerful using security agencies as tools.”

The workshop was attended by operatives from Abuja, Bauchi, Gombe, Nasarawa, Rivers, Kano, Lagos, Enugu and the FCT.

Participants at the recent workshop on Digital Rights and Cybercrimes by Paradigm Initiative in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Justice recently.


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BlackBerry to Shut Down BBM by May



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BlackBerry on Thursday announced that it will be shutting down its BBM consumer service on May 31, 2019.


“Today, we’re announcing that we will be closing BBM consumer service on 31 May 2019,” BBM said in a blog post on its website today.


The proprietary mobile instant messenger and video-telephony application said it is shutting down because “users have moved on to other platforms, while new users proved difficult to sign on.”


“Though we are sad to say goodbye, the time has come to sunset the BBM consumer service, and for us to move on,” it added.


It will be recalled that BlackBerry had in 2018 shut down the Blackberry Playbook Video service.


Daily Trust also recalled that BBM was very popular in the early 2000s. But the advent of WhatsApp and other instant messaging applications such as Telegram, WeChat and Facebook Messenger saw its popularity fades out.


Back in 2016, BlackBerry announced a new partnership with Indonesia-based Emtek to help expand the consumer BBM business.


As part of the partnership, Emtek expanded the capabilities of BBM for consumers with new features and enhancements while BlackBerry maintained control over their BBM Enterprise solution.


“Three years ago, we set out to reinvigorate BBM consumer service, one of the most loved instant messaging applications, as a cross-platform service where users can not only chat and share life experiences, but also consume content and use payment services,” BlackBerry said.


“We poured our hearts into making this a reality, and we are proud of what we have built to date.”


BlackBerry said users’ data such as photos, videos and files will be available for download before the app is shut down by the end of May.


“Once the BBM service is shut down, you will not be able to open BBM on your device to see any old or new messages, or retrieve asset files,” it stated

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Huawei Targets Nigeria for Next OpenLabs



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Huawei has selected Nigeria and Kenya among other African countries for its next OpenLab innovation facility, said Corrine Lin, president of the Global OpenLab Programme.

Lin was responding to a question during a media session at the 2019 Huawei Global Analyst Summit about plans to open more of these innovation-led labs in Africa.

Although she would not provide exact timelines, she confirmed the two countries as the next destinations on the continent that will house Huawei’s OpenLabs.

Huawei built its first OpenLab in 2012, and it is operated out of Suzhou, China. This was followed by Munich, Germany; Mexico City, Mexico; Singapore; and Dubai, UAE. In April 2017, the sixth global OpenLab was established in Johannesburg.

According to the Chinese company, the OpenLabs are a space to work with various industry partners across the world to create customer-centric and innovative solutions that enable digital transformation, while promoting industry ecosystem development.

Further, Huawei points out the OpenLabs facilitate joint innovation and solution launches with more than 400 partners across the smart city, finance, transportation, energy, manufacturing and media sectors.

Detailing the latest progress concerning OpenLabs, Lin said since 2017, her company has established 11 OpenLabs in overseas countries, bringing the total to 12 to date.

“After three years of construction, Huawei now has really strong capability to help its partners and customers to realise innovation in different vertical industries.

“Our OpenLabs have already engaged more than 300 solution partners and signed 116 MOU innovation solutions. In total, we’ve launched 137 joint solutions and generate revenue with our partners; it’s a win-win ecosystem.”

Lin pointed out some successful examples of OpenLab innovation, including Hexagon’s video alarm for the deaf with convergent command, and Parquery’s parking slot guiding system, which uses artificial intelligence to inform customers of available parking.

In Bahrain, Huawei helped deploy a smart campus system that is based on its WiFi box, switch and industry switch at the local IKEA outlet, she stated. “We learned to provide an end-to-end solution to improve sales efficiency.”

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NaijaSecCon 2019 to Focus on maturing Nigerian Information Security Space



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The NaijaSecCon Cybersecurity Conference, the largest annual technical Cyber-Security Conference in Nigeria and Africa is back in Lagos.

This time, it is taking on the role of maturing the Nigerian information security space.

For a third year on, NaijaSecCon has ruled the waves of cyber security discussions within the Nigerian cyberspace, a worthwhile achievement seen as a result of a pure technical and hands on event called the #NSCLagos, which usually holds every month and with participants from all over the world who participate physically and remotely.

NaijaSecCon is Nigeria’s first of its kind 100% technical Cyber-Security Conference that uniquely merges information about relevant threats from a Nigerian context with live technical demonstrations and hands-on workshops.

The 2018 edition of the Nigeria Cybersecurity Conference (NaijaSecCon18) was one of the first ever gatherings of information security practitioners, enthusiasts, evangelists, penetration testers, crypto-crackers, reverse-engineers, digital forensics analysts, and of course 3lit3 h4ck3r5.

Speaking on expectations from this year’s event, the Lead Convener of NaijaSecCon’18, Rotimi Akinyele said that with the recent cyber security framework released by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the 2019 edition, #naijaseccon2019 is expected to capture different topics within and affecting the security of the information space while hosting more than 300 professionals from various industries including Financial Services, Insurance firms, Telecommunication companies, Oil and Gas, Conglomerates, Privately-held organizations, Military, State and Federal Government Agencies.

“A global survey carried out by IBM puts an average cost of a data breach at $3.86 million, up 6.4% from 2017.

“The average cost, globally, for each loss of stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information is also up from last year, landing at $148 per record.

“And a 4.8% increase from 2017. With about 5.6 Billion Naira reported electronic banking fraud cases in 2017 by NeFF, the Nigerian scene is observed to be one of the most hit within the African space,” he explained.

Hence why the event, is programmed into four sections which includes;

  1. A Lockpick Village – The First in of its kind in Africa, where enthusiasts and tinkers alike are served to the chills of how lockpicking works.


  1. A Cyber Security Career Village – For cyber enthusiasts, IT Security pros, and those who would love to create a career within the space.


  1. Technical Conference – With more than 10 industry experts unravelling and advising on applicable threats within the space.


  1. Live Hacking Contest– For students of tertiary institutions playing around on capturing hidden flags all through the event.

This year’s event is set to kick off on the 3rd of May 2019 at Ace Olivia Hall, City mall, Opposite Muson center, Lagos by 8:00 am.

“For registration, visit for Individual, Business and Group tickets. To sponsor or partner with the event, get in touch with the team at”.

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