FOR those using social media to commit cyber crime, it may not be business as usual again as indication has emerged that governments of the world may introduce ways and means of monitoring internet social media content.
Leading in the crusade is the United Kingdom whose Ministers are planning to introduce new laws that will allow police to step up their monitoring of citizens’ email and social media accounts.
Meanwhile, keen observers in the Nigerian IT industry have also reasoned that Nigeria need to introduce similar law so as to fight cyber terrorist hiding in the visual world.
If the long awaited cyber crime legislation awaiting presidential assent in Nigeria is implemented. Industry observers said that cyber fraud and related issues will be reduced to the barest minimum.
Meanwhile, police and other security forces will be able to identify the members and time frames of particular conversations, but not the content of the conversations themselves.
According to the report, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will collect users’ data and pass it on to police forces at their request.
Already, officials are framing the new laws as a weapon in the struggle against terrorism. According to a 2010 UK official review, communications data helped thwart attacks in every major counter-terrorism operation carried out in the country that year.
“It is vital that police and security services are able to obtain communications data in certain circumstances to investigate serious crime and terrorism and to protect the public,”
The news was met with skepticism from the internet privacy and civil liberties advocates in the UK, who fought off similar legislation in 2009 that called for a central police database filled with all Internet and cellphone use. Meanwhile, ISPs are wary of the high cost and low practicality of monitoring every subscriber’s web activity.
Some legislatorsare predicting a rough road ahead for advocates of the new law. David Davis, a leading Conservative Member of Parliament, scoffed at the bill in a radio interview on the BBC.
“Our freedom and privacy has been protected by using the courts by saying ‘If you want to intercept, if you want to look at something, fine, if it is a terrorist or a criminal go and ask a magistrate and you’ll get your approval,’” Davis said, adding that, “They don’t need this law to protect us. This is an unnecessary extension of the ability of the state to snoop on ordinary innocent people in vast numbers. Frankly, they shouldn’t have that power.”
The privacy changes are to be proposed by Queen Elizabeth II in a speech scheduled for early May. Do you think police should be able to look at who’s talking to one another online, or is that a breech of civil liberties