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City of Banjul
Saturday, October 16, 2021

Gambia alert to Snowdens

Minister Nyombi Thembo was here in Banjul for a 3-day regional summit on Information and Communication Technology, called Africa Innovation Digital. The annual event, the 12th of its kind in Africa, was organised by Extensia and hosted by Gambia’s Information Ministry. 

Responding to a question on the continent’s vulnerability to cyber threats to the security of governments and businesses, he said: “The moment you decide to go for ICT, which we must do, then you are highly exposed. 

“At a government level, the vulnerability is even more. There are people who because of different interests would want to get into your systems and disrupt your work.”

The advancement of information technology has given rise to a new breed of whistleblowers who utilised the space the digital world provides to expose what they believe were wrongdoings of their governments. 

But none can so far be comparable to a former CIA technical worker, Edward Snowden. The 29-year-old’s revelations about United States government’s surveillance on the internet and telephone communication of its citizens and other nations have sent shock waves across the world, triggering a geopolitical controversy in an already politically tensed world.

“All the time we have to be on the lookout,” Minister Nyombi Thembo says. “Governments, operators and individuals should be highly sensitised about cyber security. 

Meanwhile, the deputy permanent secretary at the Gambia’s ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure said his government was alert to such threats. 

Mr Lamin Camara said: “Cyber security is integral in our agenda. Any system that we adopt we make sure we are in control of that security. In as much as we promote cyber adoption and utilisation, there’s threat which brings need for cyber security.

“This is a concern for us as a government. We have seen things happening around the world. The [Edward] Snowden case and the Wikileaks but, then, I think the security has to start with ourselves. The government can curb cyber security threats but inculcating it in the individual and educating people is the way forward.”

 

By: Saikou Jammeh

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