Nigerian lawmakers propose a bill for caller location sharing

The lower house of Nigeria’s National Assembly, The House of Representatives, is planning to pass into law a bill allowing telecom companies provide callers information to security agencies at anytime.

At its core, the bill, tagged ‘Caller location Information Bill’, seeks to legitimize security agencies’ request for caller location information from telcos.

The bill protects the telcos from court cases or any liability as a result of its action to provide caller location information to security agencies.

Lastly, it gives telcos the power to determine its own protocol/processes involved in surrendering user’s location information to law enforcement agencies.

The bill, according Paradigm Initiative Nigeria’s Executive Director, ‘Gbenga Sesan, is dangerous, will be abused by Government and powerful people in the society, and should be resisted.

“The Bill vaguely defines circumstances requiring such disclosure. The Bill compromises rights to privacy and will be used by the powerful to connive with security agencies to clampdown on activists, critics and whistle-blowers. It didn’t clearly define circumstances that such request is justified but ambiguously mention ‘emergency situation that involves danger of death’ One would have thought the Bill was contemplated to assist in fighting crime, kidnapping and similar criminal activities,” he said.

He added, “We would like to call on all stakeholders to reject this Bill in its entirety and that the Nigeria House of Representatives suspend further deliberation or consideration of the draft legislation as it was not thoroughly conceived and lacking the needed rigorousity such a sensitive Bill requires.”

Sponsored by Honourable Iduma Igariwey representing Afikpo North/Afikpo South of Ebonyi State, the bill passed for a second reading in the house on October 28, 2016.

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