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Nigeria Reportedly Teams Up With China To Block Citizens From Using VPNs

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June 8, 2021, 2:25 p.m.

The Presidency of Nigeria has reportedly reached out to the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) in an attempt to have control over how the citizens use the web.

This has happened two days after the government banned the use of Twitter in the country which according to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, was due to “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.

The act will be similar to that of China’s Great Firewall that prevents access to social media platforms and websites it chooses and blocks its citizens from using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). The Nigerian government hopes to achieve the same with the proposed project.

In 2019, Nigerian lawmakers introduced two controversial and heavily criticized bills: The Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation and other Related Offences bill (Social Media Bill) and the National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech bill.

The Nigerian Communications Commission has a framework to regulate OTT platforms, arguing that they negatively affect telco revenues. Nigeria’s Finance Act 2020 also contains a legal provision to tax tech giants like Google and Facebook for the revenue they make from the country.

However, the lack of the required technical expertise to implement regulations on or collect taxes from OTT platforms prohibited that move.

If the Nigerian Internet Firewall comes to fruition, Internet censorship of Nigerians, social media regulations, and taxation might become possible.

Consequently, this partnership with China could extend to much more than just building an Internet firewall.

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Verny Joy Author

Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.

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