The Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) has written a Freedom of Information
(FOI) request to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), demanding
information on its alleged self-confessed monitoring and handling of private
citizens data to security agencies, reports ITRealms.
PIN in an official press statement made available to ITRealms noted that NCC
Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta was quoted by ThisDay
Newspaper on October 16, 2015 to have said at an International Trade Fair in
Abuja that “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 ..”
The FOI request, according to the Executive Director, PIN, Mr. Gbenga Sesan,
sought to understand the processes, judicial oversight involved in handing
over call data of private citizens to security agencies.
The NCC, PIN also said, has never hidden its intention to monitor citizens
and violate privacy rights of citizens as could be seen in its controversial
draft Lawful Interception of Communication Regulation which it seeks to use
to legalize the already ongoing violation of constitutionally guaranteed
rights to privacy of private citizen.
ITRealms recalls that PIN already challenged the legality of using
administrative procedure to limit constitutionally guaranteed rights of
citizens through that regulation of the NCC.
“It is to this end that we wrote the NCC on identified red flags and
subsequently made a submission at NCC’s public inquiry into its draft Lawful
Interception of Communication Regulation. Our Policy Brief no. 6 addressed
this with greater details,” Sesan said.
He emphasised that the initial FOI request which was sent on October 19 was
acknowledged as PIN got a response from NCC on October 23, 2015, in which
NCC sought further details of their request.
“We have responded and provided all the details requested by NCC as at
Monday October 26, 2015 and now hope to get an official response from the
NCC within seven (7) days as stipulated by the FOI act,” PIN boss said.