An article published by Privacy International has analysed a new law that has been adopted by the parliament of Niger that seeks to restrict communications in the country, and has made some recommendations regarding it. According to the article, the main highlights of the bill that was passed on 29 May 2020 are that:
- the authority and discretion to grant an interception request rests solely upon the Nigerien president:
- the oversight committee created by the law can only intervene after the government has approved the interception request; and
- Telcos can be compelled to assist the government in the interception of communications.
In view of the fact that ‘the law grants the Nigerien government overly broad surveillance powers without meaningful human rights safeguards; the article made several recommendations.
- The law allowing interception of communications should be repealed.
- Better protections of civil society should be introduced.
- The EU should impose a higher degree of scrutiny on the use of its funds in the Sahel region, taking into account the recipient countries’ human rights records and existing protections for civil society.