Nigeria blocks 73 million mobile numbers for security reasons

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Nigeria has announced a clampdown on 73 million mobile numbers as they failed to link their SIMS to the NIN database. And reports are in that nearly one-third of the entire mobile user’s database was blocked from making any outgoing calls because of privacy, security, and issues related to compliance.

In July 2011, most of the South African countries agreed to employ SIM Registration laws in their regions, respectively, and those countries include Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria.

The SIM Registration laws apply to curb digital crimes such as banking fraud and identity theft. So, an 11-digit electronic national identity card was rolled out by the Nigerian government that makes it mandatory for citizens to register their personal details along with photos, biometrics, and fingerprints. I

The National Identity Card will convey a National Identity Number(NIN) to each Nigerian and help in opening a bank account, subscribing to a mobile phone number, and gaining passports.

For the past 5-years, the government authorities were extending the deadline to link their phone numbers with the NIN database. And those who failed to do so by March 31st this year were barred from making outgoing calls.

After a certain period, the government plans to permanently block the number, making it defunct thereafter.

Privacy advocates are concerned that such information disclosure to the government will lead to privacy concerns and other issues.

But government sources say that mobile numbers linking with the NIN database will help nab criminals facing legal hassles on the national and international note and will help curb cybercrime on an overall note.

 

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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