AGF Abubakar Malami Trades On Cryptocurrency, Uses VPN To Access Twitter Both Are Banned By FG |RN

By Ike A. Offor

Attorney General of the federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, posted on Facebook yesterday that he deactivated his Twitter, he was unaware that VPN was clearly shown on the screenshot he took to prove his point.

Also revealed was the banned cryptocurrency trading, which was handed down by the Central Bank. His screenshot which he displayed showed that he traded on cryptocurrency using LATOKEN.

Cryptocurrency was banned few months ago by the Central Bank of Nigeria, but to see that the man doubling as Attorney General and Minister of Justice was defying the entire law he was appointed to defend is a new low in Nigeria government.

The question is who are these folks fooling with their shenanigans and why such wicked moves to punish the people they’re supposed to build and support their well-being?

Why is an African leader extremely wicked towards their own people they’re meant to help build their future?

Clearly, Abubakar Malami knew the gains of cryptocurrency trading, which is why he is still engaging in it so, why didn’t he advise his boss not to ban it?

So, it is clear that their ban on these were merely a charade for public stunt and relation. But privately, they engage in those things they banned the public from doing. That is really very sad indeed.

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BREAKING: House Of Representatives Summon Lai Mohammed Over Twitter Ban |The Republican News

By Olabisi Deji

The House of Representatives has summoned Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, over the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria.

Recall that the minister, last week, announced the suspension of the microblogging platform’s operations in Nigeria after the platform deleted a controversial civil war post by President Muhammadu Buhari, threatening violence against separatist agitators.

At its sitting on Tuesday, the House mandated its committees on communication, justice, information and culture, and national security and intelligence to immediately commence an investigation into the suspension of the microblogging site.

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Twitter Ban: Pastor Adeboye, Bishop Kumuyi, Others Will Be Prosecuted —Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and culture Lai Mohammed

By Bachi

Nigeria’s Minister of Information Lai Mohammed says the Attorney General Abubakar Malami would ensure that Nigerians who accessed Twitter, including Pastor Enoch Adeboye, after the federal government proclaimed a ban on it would be prosecuted.

The Minister said this in an interview with BBC Africa Focus on Monday, when asked if Mr Adeboye will be prosecuted for using Twitter, despite justifying his insistence on using the platform with Article 19 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

Article 19 of the UDHR states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Mr Mohammed emphasised in the interview that the persistent use of Twitter in Nigeria is undermining the country’s corporate existence.

“The government has suspended indefinitely, the operations of Twitter in Nigeria because of the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence and the government

“Also directed the National Broadcasting Commission to immediately commence the process of licencing all social media operations in Nigeria,” he said.

According to him, Mr Malami is in charge and has the final say on who or not to prosecute.

“The attorney-general has made it clear that if anyone violates the regulation, that such person will be prosecuted. I think it is the right of the attorney-general to decide who to prosecute,” he said.

The general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) on Monday insisted on using his Twitter account despite the ban on the social media platform by the Nigerian government.

“The Redeemed Christian Church of God is domiciled in more than 170 Nations & Territories,” Mr Adeboye tweeted on Monday. “The tweets here are in accordance to Article 19 of the UN universal declaration of Human Rights.”

Similarly, the general overseer of Deeper Life Bible Church, Williams Kumuyi, said the mission’s tweets were targeted at its global audience spread across five continents and over 100 nations.

“In view of the Twitter ban in Nigeria, please note that the content shared on this handle is targeted at a global audience in more than five continents and over 100 Nations and we share the content from any of these locations,” Mr Kumuyi said.

Oyo governor Seyi Makinde condemned the ban and used the banned platforms nonetheless just as Kaduna governor Nasir El-Rufai also tweeted via his handle hours after government’s proclamation.

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REVEALED: Presidency Meets With China’s Cyber Regulator To Build Nigerian Internet Firewall |The Republican News

By Socrates Mbamalu

On Saturday morning between 11 am and 12 pm, as Nigerians woke up to the reality of a Twitter ban, and downloading Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to access Twitter, the Nigerian government, through the office of the Presidency, reached out to the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) to discuss plans to build an internet firewall, FIJ has learnt.

The government officials present at the meeting include Ibrahim Gambari, the Chief of Staff to the President, and Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture.

The internet firewall is a way of having a separate network for the Nigerian Internet that will give the government control over social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. This is similar to the internet filtering system China operates, called the Great Firewall.

According to CFR, “the Great Firewall, is the centre of the government’s online censorship and surveillance effort. Its methods include bandwidth throttling, keyword filtering, and blocking access to certain websites.”

The Reporters Without Borders states that the firewall makes large-scale use of Deep Packet Inspection technology, an advanced method of examining and managing network traffic. The Nigerian government seeks to establish the Nigerian Internet, which it will also control likewise.

A digital security expert told FIJ that China is the only country that deploys total Deep Packet Inspection over its cyberspace. The technology involves making use of lots of manpower.

The internet firewall will also give the Nigerian government power to block VPN, which many Nigerians are using to access Twitter. The CAC is the central internet regulator, censor, oversight and control agency for China and answers to the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, headed by Xi Jinping, China’s President. Since its existence, the CAC, which also gives approval to data by Chinese companies outside of China, regulates usernames on the Chinese Internet, licences news information services, and bans comments that “harm national security” or “harm the nations honour interest”.

Wall Street Journal reported that, the online arm of the Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper, offers content moderation as a service. The chairman of predicted that censorship in China will grow to a $70 billion industry.

The Nigerian government has in the past few years sought a way to control freedom of expression online. Towards the end of 2015, the Frivolous Petition Bill targeting online and print media as well as regulating social media posts was introduced into the Senate just 10 months after Buhari’s ascent to power. In 2019, lawmakers introduced two bills: the National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech bill and the Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation and other Related Offences bill, prompting public outcry that meant they were not passed into law.

This was however not the only effort the Nigerian government made in controlling online speech and spying on its citizens. In November 2017, 21 pro-Biafra websites were taken down on the orders of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). FIJ learnt that the government had explored using Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) between 2018 and 2019 to track down Biafra agitators and supporters, as well as government critics on social media. Intelligence agencies make use of OSINT to track people or events. The Nigerian government had reached out to Bellingcat investigators, a British investigative journalism website that specialises in OSINT, but they declined to work with the Nigerian government.

FIJ learnt that Bellingcat was approached to give OSINT training to the Nigerian intelligence community to develop local capacity for Open Source Investigation.  The Nigerian government had sold the angle of national security and fighting terrorism to Bellingcat, but that wasn’t at the top of the government’s priority. Bellingcat later discovered that the purpose of the training was to hunt down civilians and those who spoke negatively against the government, and not Boko Haram terrorists as claimed by the Nigerian government. The terrorists, in this case, were pro-Biafra supporters. Bellingcat has been reported to say what the US intelligence can’t, which includes exposing Russian activities.

FIJ’s source said the EndSARS protests in 2020 made the government more desperate to control the cyberspace. The conversation about a Nigerian firewall started during the EndSARS protests.

“The government needed a legal framework through which it could carry out its actions,” he said. “That legal framework would serve as a justification for their actions. Mostly, the rhetoric of the government uses, including Friday’s suspension of Twitter, was around Nigeria’s unity and national security.”

A 2020 report titled Running in Circles Uncovering the Clients of Cyberespionage Firm Circles by The Citizen Lab of the University of Toronto showed that Nigeria’s Defence Intelligence Agency had recruited the services of Circles in  2015 and 2017 to spy on its citizens and track down government critics.

Nigeria’s surveillance capabilities rank high on the continent. In 2018, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) was allocated $12.8 million for Stranvisky Project 2. Other budget allocations intended to increase the surveillance capabilities of both the ONSA and the Department of State Security (DSS) included a ‘Social Media Mining Suite’, ‘Wolverme Next Generation SDRIMSI’, ‘Surveillance Drone’ and ‘Mobile Surveillance Facilities’.

Freedom House, a US-based advocacy group, revealed that the surveillance projects such as Stranvisky Project 2 still received allocation in the 2019 and 2020 budget proposals.

The Citizen Lab, meanwhile, reported that Circles, a surveillance firm, exploits weaknesses in the global mobile phone system to snoop on calls, texts, and the location of phones around the globe. Circles relies on inside sources and open sources intelligence and customers can purchase a system that they connect to local telecommunications companies. Circles merged with NSO Group in 2014, an Israeli surveillance company that sells surveillance equipment.

A 2016 investigation showed that in 2010, Rotimi Amaechi, the former Governor of Rivers State, was the first government official to make contact with Circles to deliver internet surveillance equipment. Though the deal fell through, it highlighted the direction Nigeria was going.

Internet shutdown has become a tool that African leaders are more inclined to exercise during protests and elections. In 2017 in Cameroon, for example, the Anglophone regions had internet shutdown for over three months, and it was only restored on the orders of their sit-tight President, Paul Biya.

Source: FIJ

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