Technology

  • NBC Issues New Non-Negotiable Working Conditions For GOtv
    by siteadmin on March 22, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has issued new conditions for GOtv to continue its operations in Nigeria. The commission cleared the air on the reports that it had issued an ultimatum to Details Nigeria Limited over the operations of GOtv in Nigeria. Addressing a press conference on Friday, Is’haq Modibbo Kawu, the NBC Director-General, affirmed that the Digital Terrestrial Licence issued to Details Nigeria Limited is scheduled to expire in a few days and a notice had been issued in January 2018. According to Kawu, the claim that NBC had plans to close down GOtv was never the commission’s intention, as several meetings are ongoing between both parties. He said a “definitive meeting” held on Thursday, and it was resolved that the licence would be renewed for three years. Present at the meeting was General Babagana Monguno, the National Security Adviser. “Yesterday night, we were able to use the good offices of the National Security Adviser (NSA), to break the logjam in respect of the renewal of the Digital Terrestrial Licence issued to Details Nigeria Limited for the operations of GOTV. Most of you might be aware that in January 2018, we had issued a notice that the said licence was not going to be renewed at expiration. "That licence is actually expected to expire in a couple of days on. We took the decision not to renew the licence, because the new architecture of Nigerian Broadcasting in the digital era separates the roles of the content provider from that of the signal distributors. This is according to the government White Paper on the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. “Against the backdrop of the notice that we issued in January 2018, there was a lot of misinformation put out in the public space that NBC had taken a decision to close down GOTV. But that had never been our intention. We realise the place of Details Nigeria as a critical stakeholder in the Nigerian Broadcasting industry, the huge amount of investment they have made in the industry and the jobs that they have created directly and indirectly. "But the NBC is irrevocably committed to the Digital Switchover (DSO), and the policy guideline in respect of the separation of Content Provider and Signal Distributor. That is the reason for letter to Details Nigeria Limited. But over the past couple of months, we have held several meetings with representatives of Details Nigeria Limited on the appropriate way to keep them in business in Nigeria, while we also enforce the position of government in respect of the White Paper on DSO. Finally, yesterday, we held the definitive meeting under the auspices of the National Security Adviser, General Babagana Monguno, during which we were able to resolve the main obstacles. “Yesterday’s meeting resolved that GOTV would have its licence renewed for a period of three years, but with certain provisos. The separation of Content Provider from Signal Distributor is non-negotiable! That means that GOTV, going forward, in the near future, will no longer combine the two functions. So in the three-year period of licensing that we are issuing, they would be expected to begin discussions with any of the two licensed Signal Distributors, Integrated Television Services (ITS) and Pinnacle Communications Limited, on the preferred platform to carry their content. These resolutions came on the back of often, difficult days of negotiations, that involved several stakeholders. As I said earlier, we want to thank the National Security Adviser for the role that he played in helping us resolve the impasse. The resolution of the issue recognized the role of investors in the broadcasting and other sectors of the Nigerian economy. And in resolving the issue, we realize the importance of investor confidence in the Nigerian economy, as well as the efforts to take Nigeria to the next level, by President Muhammadu Buhari.” NBC also issued strict warning to broadcast media organisations in the country on covering elections, stating that anyone that flouts the regulations would face strict sanctions. Journalism Technology News AddThis :  Featured Image :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements :&nbs […]

  • How A Tech Company Linked To APC National Leader Bola Tinubu Used Sophisticated Technology To Tamper With The 2015 Elections, Report Says
    by siteadmin on February 21, 2019 at 7:55 am

    A company led by the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ahmed Bola Tinubu, may have deployed the perfect election-rigging mechanism in the 2015 election, a confidential review obtained by SaharaReporters shows.   And it may all have been accomplished with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not knowing its own technology was being used against it. It began in 2012 when a company, Act Technologies Limited, was put into play after it had been taken from its original owners by Tinubu and Retired Col. Sani Bello, two of Africa’s wealthiest men.  ACT went into partnership with INEC to provide voter registration and accreditation, as well as election-management technology, to Nigeria’s electoral body. “This company eventually flushed out the original recipient of the voter management system contract from INEC and provided a compromised technology which had a gaping back door framework for manipulating voter registration, PVC card issue and the voting process,” the report said.   The contract to provide INEC with the election technology was originally to have been awarded to Zinox Technologies Ltd, but INEC frustrated Zinoxand ensured it was awarded to ACT, which was then used to perpetrate APC’s scheme known as “Preferred Voter Arrangement.” “Despite winning the INEC contract, the company had no records of having filed an annual report as of May 2015,” the report said.  “Disgruntled individuals within the company have revealed that approximately 80% of the company’s earnings from IMEC were siphoned off, with the company being left with 20% to execute the project.” The report is replete with tales of money-laundering and manipulation, fake companies and addresses, and of powerful people and their families playing games with funds and companies.  Many of the companies remain unknown to the Corporate Affairs Commission. Among its stunning revelations, the bulk of the funds paid by INEC for the card reader project were paid out without delay to companies that were completely unrelated to the project.  “In fact, a majority of the money was paid out to a Maigidana Bureau de Change, a company with a fake address.” Of greater importance, however, the report said there was strong evidence that key figures in APC had control of ACT Technologies during the period in which card readers and PVC cards were being produced, and had started paying out money through ACT Technologies to the companies producing the card readers and handling the Biometrics security one year before INEC paid any money to ACT.   According to the report, “There is a very high probability that the Card reader technology and accompanying biometric PVC card technology was severely compromised.”   It observed that a pattern of payments in May and July 2012 to Shenzhen Emporium by Capital Management Limited, a company suspected to be linked to Tinubu, and by a friend of APC Niger State governor-elect Alhaji Sani Abubakar Bello, took place one year a year before INEC paid any money for the project.  “So it is safe to assume that both of these individuals or the party they represent made these payments in order to have their own private access to a large number of card readers.  These card readers would have been an exact replica of the ones given to INEC.” Examining the pattern of those events, the report said that there is evidence to suggest that not only did elements within APC have an exact replica of INEC’s accreditation infrastructure, but that they had it well in advance of INEC.   “In essence, these individuals gave INEC a system that they already had.” The report noted that INEC was given a system it could access only via its handheld terminals, one it was told it had sole custody of.   “They couldn’t have known that prior to the system being delivered, thousands of other terminals had already been produced for individuals linked to a political party.  Essentially, a secret back door had been created accreditation system.  And while INEC was doing the voter registration, the individuals with back door access injected their own data into the INEC database.” It said all that was then needed was the port address that INEC used in communicating with the database, which was not difficult to obtain since the electoral body gave it to their field staff to program the card readers.   “With access to the port and to the exact replica of both the card readers and the Biometric security template, parties loyal to the APC injected data seamlessly and near flawlessly into the database without anyone being alerted. With inflated accreditation numbers in designated polling units/regions, they knew exactly which polling units to rig and go unnoticed.” The report said the only weakness in the plan concerns whether INEC kept time logs of when its staff uploaded to the database, otherwise it would be very difficult to prove definitively that it was tampered with.   It concluded that in 2015, the electronic accreditation process was clearly tampered with.   The report then offered this dire warning, for a nation facing national elections starting this Saturday: “If the card reader technology, as it currently exists, gets used in future elections, the individuals who have this technology have the capability to inflate accredited voter numbers and dictate which electoral candidate win which election.” Tinubu, who has bragged in recent days that he is richer than Osun State and that he is single-handedly bankrolling Buhari’s re-election effort. He has promised the president three million votes in Lagos. Last week, The Guardian (United Kingdom) faulted Nigeria’s voter registration patterns, noting that the number of new voters registered since January 2018 has increased by an identical percentage in each of thestates, leaving the forthcoming polls open to rigging.   The newspaper described the correlation as a "statistical impossibility," saying it does not reflect Nigeria's demographic changes.   Elections Politics Technology News AddThis :  Featured Image :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements :&nbs […]

  • NCAA Threatens To Sanction GSM Operators Over Massive Debts
    by siteadmin on February 20, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) operators in Nigeria have been warned to immediately remit to the coffers of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) all the debt arrears owed it by the operators. NCAA threatened that any of the GSM operators who refused to pay all the outstanding would be sanctioned in accordance with the law. This is as Captain Muhtar Usman, the Director-General of NCAA, frowned at the umbrella body of GSM operators in the country, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), for directing its members not to pay its outstanding debts until “all grey areas are settled”. It was not however clear the exact amount of money the GSM operators owed the agency, but it was gathered that it ran into several millions of naira. A statement issued on Wednesday by Sam Adurogboye, the General Manager, Public Affairs of NCAA, warned GSM operators with arrears of payments to remit such without further delay to avoid sanction. Adurogboye said at a meeting with the GSM operators at the agency’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, Usman called on all telecom operators who were yet to remit their outstanding payments to NCAA to do so without further delay. The statement quoted the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (Establishment) Act, Section 7(1) (n), which empowered it to prohibit and regulate the installation of any structure by virtue of its height or position considered to endanger the safety of air navigation. He emphasised that pursuant to the above provision, NCAA required an Aviation Height Clearance (AHC) approval for every high-rise structure, mast, tower installation, irrespective of the height and location. Adurogboye quoted the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) Part 12.1.7.1.11, as stating that: “The AHC shall remain in force for a period of one year when it shall be due for renewal unless suspended or cancelled by the authority. Similarly, the holder of an AHC certificate shall ensure proper records of AHC granted to it and the renewal of the AHC at least 30 days to the expiry date.” Adurogboye stated that part of the grey areas were that AHC should be a one-off exercise, no renewals and structures for AHC should be selective, stressing that not all high-rise masts were deemed to endanger air navigation. However, this position canvassed by ALTON, did not go down well with Usman, describing the directive of the association to its members to cease payments until when all matters related had been resolved. He stated that Usman, therefore, espoused all relevant statutes that bequeathed NCAA the authority to render such services, and recover costs associated. He said NCAA as a law-abiding organisation had been reluctant to review the fees for so many years, even when the reality at inception of the charges had considerably changed. According to Usman, Nig.CARs Part 12.1.7.1.12 reads: “The authority shall carry out surveillance inspection of existing structures within the Nigerian airspace – on aerodrome or off aerodrome to ascertain the compliance level of the structures with safety measures in terms of painting, markers, lightings and approved heights for the structures.” He explained that with this, there was a compulsory continuity in surveillance inspection of existing structures within the Nigerian airspace to ensure sustenance of safety of air navigation. In his remarks, Gbenga Adebayo, the ALTON President, appreciated the engagement, and requested for a bilateral committee consisting of officials of both NCAA and ALTON to be established to hold periodic meetings for a smooth working relationship. Technology Travel News AddThis :  Featured Image :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements :&nbs […]

  • CONFIRMED: Facebook Allowed Fake News Ads Ahead Of Nigeria's Elections
    by siteadmin on February 14, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    Facebook also approved an ad that falsely stated US President Donald Trump supported the Nigerian opposition In January 2019, Facebook said it would place a temporary ban on political ads related to the 2019 elections in the country, basing its decision on the need to discourage foreign influence in the electoral process. A Facebook statement issued that month to the effect read: “Earlier this month in Nigeria, we began temporarily disallowing electoral ads purchased from outside the country ahead of the election and will implement the same policy in Ukraine ahead of their election. Advertisers will need to be authorized to purchase political ads; we'll give people more information about ads related to politics and issues; and we'll create a publicly searchable library of these ads for up to seven years.” However, according to an investigation by Al Jazeera, even false political ads can find their way into the social media space, as the automated ad approval system can be easily tricked to some level. Al Jazeera placed some ads on Facebook, containing false claims, which were eventually approved. One of the claims was that Boko Haram would take part in the elections. The ads were estimated by Facebook's system to possibly reach between seven and 17 million people. Among the claims were that US President Donald Trump supported Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); that the deadline for collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) was extended by one week; and that refugees would get a voting extension after February 16. After slight changes were made to trick the Facebook automated ad system, all four false claims were approved. However, the one on refugees was eventually taken down. The ads were, however, deactivated by Al Jazeera before they ran on the platform and the website where the news stories were posted was hidden from the public to ensure the stories were not visible to search engines. Speaking on the development, Herman Wasserman, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Cape Town, said: "This is worrying. One would like to see Facebook doing more to fact-check claims in political advertising during a political campaign period. The evidence seems to suggest that their system does not work as effectively as it should.” To buy ads on Facebook, users have to go through Facebook's Ad Manager, an automated system that not only allows users to focus their advertisements on a very specific audience, but also approves ads before publication. Any of the four ads by Al Jazeera should have been disallowed, since they were placed from Qatar and Facebook had announced that it would not allow users to buy political ads from outside Nigeria. Speaking on its commitment to discouraging fake ads, a Facebook official said the comoany "is committed to fighting the spread of false news on Facebook, and protecting election integrity", but that "there is no silver bullet to this issue". Facebook said preventing such adds from its space "requires a multi-pronged approach", noting that several solutions had been implemented, including teaming up with local third-party fact-checkers, rolling out educational tips on national and regional media across Nigeria, and introducing new options in English and Hausa so people can report posts that contain incorrect election information, encourage violence or otherwise violate its Community Standards.  "Although false news does not in and of itself violate our Community Standards, it often violates our policies in other categories, which can lead to removal, as occurred here," Facebook told Al Jazeera. "The majority of these ads were rejected for policy violations and never appeared on Facebook. The small number that were approved were paused before they went live and likely would have received limited to zero distribution on Facebook as a result of additional violations of our advertising policies. "While we have made good progress, we recognise there is always more we can do because the threats we face keep evolving - but we'll continue to work on improving our systems and technology to prevent abuse." Elections Politics Technology News AddThis :  Featured Image :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements :&nbs […]

  • Zabe App Hits 3,000 Downloads As Nigerians Gear Up For Elections
    by siteadmin on February 14, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    As Nigerians gear up for the 2019 elections, the Centre for Civic, Citizen’s Welfare and Community Development (CCWD) and Civic Media Lab have developed an election monitoring mobile application named Zabe. The app, according to the organisations, seeks to democratise the elections observation process. Over 3,000 Nigerians will be volunteering to monitor the process in their own polling booths to give a much wider perception of the overall performance of the election. Zabe.ng is an election monitoring app that provides a fast and better method of collating results. Citizen observers are expected to crowd-source the app with credible information on incidents, events, and results around them as they go about the election process. According to Khalil Halilu, Chairman of the Centre for Civic, Citizen’s Welfare and Community Development, while responding to a tweet chat with SaharaReporters, results collated on the app will only be parallel to the one by INEC, but it does not confirm winners or losers as it relies on citizens. “Our aim is to ensure that results declared at Polling Units are fairly represented at the last collation point. We will put systems to ensure that it doesn’t happen and if it does, then we need to check where the gaps are coming from and ask for accountability,” he said. While informing the public on how to join the network, Halilu said: “Simply download the app from Playstore and IOS, sign up and then ensure you are on the lookout to report incidents in your area and also post credible results from your polling booth. The app also offers an offline reporting function, which allows you to input information when you are out of a network coverage area and then uploads when there is access to network.” The app is a collaboration effort between CCWD, an NGO with a bias for civic tools and technology, in line with SDGs and Civic Media Lab, which was set up with support from MacArthur Foundation to develop civic tools that would deepen democratic participation. The lab is currently building a community of a 10,000 citizen election observers’ network across the country, who will help provide information on the app. Elections Technology News AddThis :  Featured Image :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements :&nbs […]

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