In a bid to understand the processes and judicial oversight involved in handing over call data of private citizens to security agencies in the country, not-for-profit organization, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) has written a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).
The FOT request was necessitated by revelations into the activities of the NCC in which it released call data of private citizens to the Nigerian security agencies based on suspicion.
These revelations were made public by the October 16, 2015 publication of ThisDay Newspaper where, at an International Trade Fair in Abuja, the NCC Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta said “the commission in collaboration with telecommunication operators monitor call data of suspected kidnappers and insurgents and forward same to appropriate security operatives as soon as they are available.”
Prior to this time, the NCC had made plans to monitor citizens and violate privacy rights of citizens through its controversial draft tilted “Lawful interception of Communication Regulation.”
Through the draft, the NCC seeks to legalize the already ongoing violation of constitutionally guaranteed rights to privacy of private citizens.
This draft was challenged by PIN, writing the NCC on identified red flags and subsequently made a submission at NCC’s public inquiry into the draft.
The initial FOI request, sent on October 19, 2015, was acknowledged – PIN got a response from the NCC on October 23, 2015 in which it sought further details of the request.
By October 26, 2015, PIN have responded to NCC’s request, providing all the details requested and now awaits an official response within seven (7) days as stipulated by the FOI act.
The issue of privacy of private citizens is a serious matter and PIN is doing all it can to ensure the constitutionally guaranteed rights of private citizens are not in any way violated.
Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, founded in 2007 and headquartered in Ikoyi, Lagos, is a not-for-profit social enterprise that connects under-served Nigerian youths with ICT-enabled opportunities.
Image Credit: PIN.