'Caller Location Information Bill' dangerous says Nigerian rights group
Published on 10th November 2016
Civil rights group Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) has expressed concern over news that the Nigerian House of Representatives has passed the Caller Location Information Bill for a second reading and possible debate.
PIN says the new Bill, which has been introduced soon after authorities amended the Nigerian Communications Act, seeks to empower security agencies to request caller location information from telecoms service providers.
According to the rights group if passed into law, telcos will be forced to provide this information using their own protocol/processes, which disregards the constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy. PIN believes the legislation will also clamp down on activists, critics and whistleblowers and leave little opportunity for recourse action.
PIN is calling on all stakeholders to reject the Bill in its entirety and for the House of Representatives to suspend further deliberation or consideration of the draft legislation for "it was not thoroughly conceived and lacking the needed rigorousity such a sensitive Bill requires."
"We think that when Nigerians become aware of the dangers of the bill, they will reject it the same way they rejected the Frivolous Petitions Bill earlier in the year," said PIN's Executive Director, Gbenga Sesan. "We trust that Nigerians will reject the Bill during the public hearing, when it's called, and PIN will also work with our partners to pursue every channel we have to stop the Bill."
At the second reading, the bill could move on to the next stage if it secures the required majority support. If not, it may officially 'taken off the table' and/or possibly re-introduced later.