We all have a certain sense of security alert when it comes to our devices and its functions; this is why most of us set passwords, PINs and security codes on our devices. Even when you give your device to another individual to make use of it and you find out the individual is going to confidential places on your device, you express disapproval. Now, imagine you heard someone is secretly tapping into your private life through calls and your social media activities you’ll surely throw a fit.
For a while, different reports were trending here and there on social media pointing fingers at the Nigerian government and accusing the government of intruding the privacy of its citizens, thereby tracking and recording phone calls and social media activities through the Ministry of Interior Affairs. Some took the reports with fury, while others sought for the genuineness of the reports. However, the Federal Government of Nigeria has rebuffed such reports.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has come out to dismiss the rumors. He termed the rumors as “classic disinformation”.
“There is no regulation, old or new, from the Ministry of Interior or any federal government agency requiring the recording of all calls or the monitoring of social media platforms like WhatsApp, Twitter or Facebook,” said Mohammed.
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“We thank all Nigerians who have reached out to us in an effort to confirm the authenticity or otherwise of this information, which is now being widely circulated on the social media. This is the best way to ensure that the purveyors of false news do not dominate our media space,” added Mohammed.
Mohammed also went on further to say those that were involved in the spread of the false news were people that wanted the nation Nigeria to be viewed as a nation opposed to freedom of speech.
There have been previous accusations that the Federal Government of Nigeria was tapping into its citizens’ phone calls and online activity. That was February this year, when the nation made the announcement of its plan to launch two new satellites. Rumors went viral that the Government of Nigeria could eavesdrop on its citizens through the satellite. The accusations led Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) to give statements nullifying these claims.
In PIN’s statement, it stated that the Section 37 of the country’s Constitution strongly puts the citizens in safety of such –eavesdropping on mobile activity- not happening.