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Yes to Phone Bugging Scheme

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Opponents of lawful interception (LI) don’t have a leg to stand on when they argue that the legally sanctioned official access to private communications, such as telephone calls or e-mail messages by security agencies is violation of citizens’ privacy.

This is beacuae lawful interception has become increasingly necessary because of the sophistication of criminal enterprises in exploiting emerging communications channels such as the internet.

The anonymity technologies provide offer them comfort.

Today, illegal and unauthorized Internet usage has increased due to open communications policy in Nigeria and despite all the efforts to curb and detect these illegal usage activities, criminals have continued to thrive due to many back door paths.

In fact, technology savvy criminals are the greatest threat to Nigeria’s national security.

Terrorists love the Internet and exploit all possible way of communications among themselves through the Internet.

Politicians also use of Internet to spread their propaganda and message to their supporters.

Illegal betting organizations make use of Internet for illegal transactions.

Drugs and weapons dealers exploit the Internet to close on drug and weapons smuggling deals.

The concern here is that we are closing our eyes and waiting for kegs of gunpowder to explode in our faces.

Criminal activities pose real challenge to organizations responsible for protecting public safety including the police and courts.

But with lawful interception, in response to a warrant from a judge, lawful interception is performed simply by applying a ‘tap’ on the telephone line of the target, making it possible for security agencies in Nigeria to listen to terrorist and criminal cell phone calls and gather communications intelligence on their dark activities.

It is highly desirable and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the major proponent has sufficient backings from Section 70 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 and all other powers enabling it in that regard.

A draft guideline posted on NCC website requires service providers and Internet service providers to implement their networks to explicitly support authorized electronic surveillance.

“These regulations are made to provide a legal and regulatory framework for the lawful interception of Communications in Nigeria, the collection and disclosure of intercepted Communications. These Regulations shall; provide the legal and regulatory framework for the lawful interception of Communications in Nigeria and to put into effect the provisions of sections 146 and 147 of the Act; specify the nature and types of Communications to be intercepted; prescribe penalties for non-compliance with these Regulations; provide a notification procedure to the Commission of all Warrants issued, amended renewed or cancelled under these Regulations; ensure the privacy of subscribers as contained in the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria is persevered” the commission said.

According to the NCC, a fine of N5 million awaits a service provider or any of its officers which fails to comply with the provisions of the regulation.

“If such an offence is continuing, such a Licensee or officer shall be liable to a daily default penalty of N 500,000; the Commission may revoke the License of the Licensee for failure to comply with the regulation. The Commission shall give a prior written notice to the Licensee of such revocation, not less than [30] days to the withdrawal of the License. In addition the Commission may institute an action for non-compliance by way of an injunction or a specific performance or any or such other judicial means of enforcing a duty or obligation imposed on a Licensee pursuant to this regulation” it said.

Lawful interception has existed since the inception of electronic communications in the form “wiretapping”, it has become increasingly necessary now because of the sophistication of criminal enterprises in exploiting emerging communications channels.

It is expected to be undetectable with secure transport to authorized law enforcement agencies as well as scalable and high availability to accommodate changing network environments.

Lawful interception will also help address concerns over ARPU, telecommunications fraud, denial of service attacks, customer satisfaction, and growing security fears – particularly over global terrorist activities.

It makes a lot of sense in today’s unstable environments which requires intelligence information to prevent and combat crime. 

But in implementing lawful interception, there must be high security requirements to prevent possible manipulation and misuse.

There is also need to complement the multifaceted regulation of lawful interception with elaborated provisions of law concerning the requirements for the design and development of lawful interception systems.

If lawful interception is not in place, think how much chaos criminal gangs can mete out on Nigerians and the country.

Victims of internet and telephone crimes deserve justice; potential victims deserve protection.

Then and only then can Nigerians enjoy the benefits of ICT.


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FG Offers to Support TStv to Relaunch with Pay per View Model

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National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has pledged to give necessary support to TStv Africa as the indigenous digital satellite TV service begins full operation with pay per view model on October 1, 2020.

FG Offers to Support TStv to Relaunch with Pay per View Model

Professor Armstrong Idachaba, acting director-general of NBC, made the promise on Monday in Abuja when the management team of TStv paid him an official visit.

The visit was to inform him of the company‘s readiness to commence full operation across the country on October 1.

TStv Africa is a wholly-owned Nigerian innovative multi-channel outfit which had promised to operate a pay per view model for the benefit of Nigerians.

Idachaba said: “We promise on our side that we will continue to support you.

“At this time, I think that the major issue confronting the PayTv sector is the area of giving Nigerians option of deregulating purchasing capacity in terms of pay as you go concept.

“We believe this will give you the visibility if you remain committed to the idea.

“We welcome that option and wish that it serves as a stimulant and as a progressive index for other pay-TV operators to adopt.

“Some of them have come up with a lot of excuses why pay per view is difficult and why it is not doable.

“We want you to be the galvaniser to prove the naysayers wrong that this is doable in the interest of Nigerians.

“Once you begin and you make a success of it through increased subscription base, we are sure that others will be drawn into it as it happened in the telecommunication sector.”

Idachaba said the NBC is committed to promoting local participation in the nation’s broadcasting industry, especially in the pay-TV sector, to create jobs and provide diversity for Nigerians.

He acknowledged the challenges TStv had faced over the years and encouraged the company to remain focused.

“We are aware that it has been very challenging for you.

“All over the world dominant players will always want to remain in a dominant position.

” Those who want to survive will also have to take the courage to do so,” he said.

The Acting Director-General, however, admonished the firm to refrain from any activity that would give Nigeria a bad name.

“If you are acquiring rights, you must make sure that your rights are legitimately acquired.

“You must make sure you follow the rules of engagement strictly, study the broadcasting code strictly to have a robust future ahead of you,” he said.

Earlier, Dr Echefu Bright, managing director and CEO of TStv, said they were at the NBC to seek the commission’s support to have a peaceful roll out on October 1.

He said the outfit also visited the NBC to officially present samples of its decoders to the commission and thank the management for its support.

Bright gave an assurance that the novel pay per view concept was sacrosanct.

“The model is what we have experimented and implemented and it works and we have done everything we need to do for it Nigerians to benefit.

“Beyond that, we have enough boxes on ground that will cover the entire country,” he said.

Bright also gave an assurance that with the Oct.1 roll out, every part of the country would be covered.

“We currently have a dealership in virtually every state in Nigeria and as I speak to you now our goods are already with them for October 1 rollout. The coverage from day one will be across Nigeria,”

On sports products, he said the firm has Laliga as well as the FA Cup and  Euro Cup 2021 rights.

 


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Why Businesses Should Take a Long-term Approach to People, Product, and Customers

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By Andrew Bourne, Region Manager, Africa, Zoho Corporation,

Business success is perceived differently today. Buzzwords like maximization, venture-backed, growth hacking, and well-conceived exit strategies (like IPOs or acquisitions) define entrepreneurial success in the current age. In a mad rush to show high quarter-on-quarter growth rates, corporate leaders have forgotten that the true value of a business is how long it stays relevant in the market and instead focus solely on transient growth spurts even if they cost profits.

Any business, no matter how big its initial success, needs to take a long-term approach if it’s to avoid being one of history’s almost-rans. This applies to every aspect of the business, including, people, products, and customers.

 

Invest in People

When you are a new company working on developing deep tech, discovering talent and retaining them is a challenge. Try to create and slowly nurture a pool of capable workers who will gain domain expertise over time. At Zoho, in order to sustain our long-term R&D efforts, we initially kept the teams small and worked with people who were committed to learn and understand the domain.

Patience is the key when you cultivate talent in-house. As people refine their skills and gain deeper domain knowledge, they gradually bring their learning to the business and build a solid offering that will stand the test of time. Ultimately, it’s the culture of experimental learning that you build which keeps you going and also motivates people to stick around for the long haul.

 

Build a product that can pivot and adapt

Equally important is to take a long-term approach to your product. You might be selling something simple today, but you need to be able to build on that. Take Amazon, for example. It started out selling books and gradually built out to become a trillion-dollar company. It hasn’t just focused on e-commerce either. Amazon Web Services (AWS), its cloud-computing division, keeps more than 40% of the internet up and running.

The lesson here is that long-term thinking isn’t just about having a product plan and sticking to it. It’s also about adapting to any future opportunities that present themselves. Whatever sector you operate in today, it will see disruptions sooner or later. If you can adapt to those changes, or find new opportunities in other sectors, you will be better placed for continued success than your competitors.

 

Keep up with customer expectations

Finally, you need to take a long-term approach to your customers. If you are constantly gaining new customers but not retaining them, you’re unlikely to see real success. Returning customers routinely spend more money on brands they’re loyal to. People are also more likely to recommend others to businesses they have had a good experience with. Simply put, it just makes business sense.

But taking a long-term focus with your customers isn’t just about the direct touch-points you have with them. Everything, including the software solutions you use, should have the customer at heart. For example, a unified tool which allows you to instantly see every interaction a customer’s had with your business (be it via voice, email, or chat), will put you in a much better position to serve them than trying to work with several different products.

Taking this long-term approach might feel overwhelming initially, but it’s much more likely to pay off than simply trying to survive from quarter to quarter. After all true success is built over time.


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CBN Pulls Rate Cut Trigger, King Dollar Returns

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By Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM,

In a move that caught investors off-guard this week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) slashed interest rates by 100 basis points bringing the MPR to 11.5%. Given how inflation has been above target since 2015, rates were expected to remain unchanged for the rest of 2020 and possibly early 2021.

 

The question on the mind of many is whether the rate cut will achieve the desired effect by stimulating consumption and economic growth? Ongoing border closures and disruptions created by COVID-19 have pushed inflation to levels not seen since March 2018 above 13.20% while a drop in the production and price of Oil continues to rub salt into the wound. While looser monetary policy could support growth, it may come at the cost of rising inflation and weaker Naira.

 

Over the past few months, central banks across the globe have deployed unprecedented measures to defend their respective economies against the coronavirus menace. However, fiscal policy has been identified as the sharper tool with governments across the world providing a critical lifeline to keep the wheels of their respective economies rolling.

 

Outside of Nigeria, King Dollar made a return by appreciating against every single G10 currency. In times of uncertainty, everyone wants a juicy piece of the world’s most liquid currency. As coronavirus cases rise in Europe and other parts of the world, the flight to safety is likely to boost appetite for the Dollar. This is bad news for many emerging markets currencies, especially those with high Dollar-denominated debt.

 

On the commodity side, Oil prices remain heavily influenced by demand-side factors and the state of the global economy. Prices are likely to remain stuck around the $40 regions in the near term, especially If another round of possible lockdowns hit Oil demand. Looking at the technicals, WTI Crude is under pressure on the daily charts. If prices are unable to break away from the sticky $40 regions, the next key point of interest remains around $38. A weekly close above $41.50 could pave a path towards $43.


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