Surveillance State Rising: How the Nigerian Gov’t Plans to Control the Internet

by ptinti

Beacon

Under the guise of fighting terrorism, the Nigerian government is ramping up efforts to use surveillance technology to spy on its own people. But serious questions remain if such measures will prove effective and whether the government can be trusted.

ABUJA, Nigeria — Unless you are a regular reader of Premium Times, an online newspaper based in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, you probably have not heard of Emmanuel Ogala. But weeks before Glenn Greenwald broke the NSA surveillance stories that laid bare the global reach of the American security-state, Mr. Ogala uncovered a secret effort by his own government to procure similar capabilities.

Emboldened by proposed laws that would give it broad authority to spy on just about anyone, the Nigerian government insists that these measures are necessary to defeat an insurgency in northern Nigeria led by an Islamist sect called Boko Haram. Yet political activists and watchdog groups are concerned that invasive surveillance systems will be misused by government authorities.

At the center of the controversy stands Elbit Systems Ltd., an Israeli company based in Haifa that describes itself as an “international defense electronics company engaged in a wide range of programs throughout the world.”…

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