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How technological tools can oust insurgency in Nigeria — Isa Pantami

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MINISTER of Communication and Digital Economy Isa Pantami on Tuesday says the military and intelligence agencies can use big data to fight the war against terrorism in the country.

The minister disclosed this while delivering a lecture on “leadership in counter-terrorism and counter violent extremism” at the Nigerian Army Resource Center, Abuja.

Pantami in his lecture noted that embracing technology to clamp down on insurgency is hitched on the recent development by terrorists, who exploit social media to spread propaganda, recruit followers and coordinate attacks.

“It is evident that terrorists are exploiting social media, encrypted communications, and the dark web to spread propaganda, recruit new followers and coordinate attacks,” he said.

The minister noted that such encrypted communications and the dark web used by terrorists requires the use of innovative approaches to both “counter” and “prevent” terrorism and extremism, with the development of new and emerging technologies.

Pantami highlighted most tools like Big Data Analytics; Internet of Things (IoT); Robotics; Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI)  be employed by the military to combat terrorism in Nigeria.

The minister noted that data can be analyzed to understand background, motives, modus operandi and methods of communication of persons or groups of interest.

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Citing a project by the Qatar Computing Research Institute where big data was used to scrutinize and analyze social media such as Facebook and Twitter in order to locate the origins of supporters of the terrorist organization ISIS, Pantami said the Internet of Things (IoT) technology can easily be used for monitoring, location tracking, identification, surveillance and gaining access to networks.

He said the advent of the IoT presents the connection of devices to not only the Internet but also to each other, stating that IoT enables increased convenience, efficiency, and energy conservation.

“The massive increase in computing power and advances in machine learning has made it possible to examine huge amounts of data related to crime and terrorism, to identify underlying correlations and causes.

“Under my leadership, the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has developed and is implementing the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria, he said.

He enjoined the security agencies in Nigeria to utilise all available technologies to combat insurgents in the country.

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