APC warns Nigerians to stop using VPN to access Twitter

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APC warns Nigerians to stop using VPN to access Twitter

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 An APC party supporter waves the party's flag at an election campaign rally in Edo State [Twitter/@PastorIzeIyamu]
APC says using VPNs makes Nigerians vulnerable to criminal hackers.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has warned Nigerians to stop accessing Twitter using Virtual Private Networks (VPN), citing security concerns that could hurt them.
 Many Nigerians have resorted to using VPNs since the Federal Government last week banned access to the American microblogging and social networking service.

The government said the operations of Twitter was banned because it was being used for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria's corporate existence.

In a statement on Tuesday, June 8, 2021, APC spokesperson, John Akpanudoedehe, said using VPNs makes Nigerians, both individuals and businesses, vulnerable to criminal hackers.

He said they are exposed to the risks of data theft, hacking of their bank accounts, illegal access to strategic company documents, and possible economic espionage.

"The APC warns legitimate private and public entities operating in the country to avoid the many dangers of exposing themselves to cybercrimes through the use of VPN, which is not adequately secured," he said.

Akpanudoedehe also doubled down on the government's position that Twitter's unwholesome activities are detrimental to the peace and public order in Nigeria, but last week's ban was announced days after the social media giant deleted a tweet from President Buhari's official account after it was deemed to have violated its rules.

The tweet had been widely reported by Nigerians as harmful after the president appeared to threaten separatist agitators in the south east region with a repeat of the civil war that killed millions between 1967 and 1970.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the action made Twitter's mission in Nigeria suspicious, especially in light of its past actions considered an affront to the Nigerian government.

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, has threatened Nigerians using VPNs to access the social media platform with prosecution, but has failed to clearly outline the crime committed.

The decision to suspend Twitter has been considered by many as a backdoor policy to finally enforce a social media regulation that Nigerians have been pushing hard against especially under President Buhari.

Following the announcement of the ban, Mohammed said the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has been directed to immediately commence the process of licensing all over-the-top media service and social media operations in the country.

This will affect the Nigerian operations of giants like Netflix, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Zoom, YouTube, and many more.

This development is expected to significantly impact the tech eco-system in Nigeria, considered one of the country's shining lights in the midst of years of escalating poverty, ballooning unemployment rate, and struggling economy.


 

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