The Director General, DG, of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, Prof. Fatima Waziri – Azi, has inaugurating the NAPTIP Cybersecurity Response Team set up to handle all issues relating to online exploitation.
The DG, also cautioned Nigerians most especially youngsters, against indiscriminate sharing of intimate contents, and private information, with friends, and strangers to address the rising cases of online sexual exploitation and sextortion in the Country.
The Agency’s boss the warning at the Agency’s Headquarters, Abuja while inaugurating the team.
It would be recalled that NAPTIP had recently scaled up intelligence and undercover operations within the Federal Capital Territory and other flashpoints within the Country to nip in the bud the unwholesome activities of some suspected criminal elements who continue to take advantage of vulnerable people especially young girls and children.
The effort of the Agency paid off a few weeks ago with the arrest of members of a criminal cult believed to be terrorizing residents of the Federal Capital Territory and its environs and dismantling the gang in the process.
Speaking shortly before the inauguration of the Cybersecurity Response Team, the Director General expressed concern over the careless attitude of some persons who, in the euphoria of emotion and love, let down their guard and naively share inappropriate content or themselves.
Prof. Waziri-Azi, said, “We all know that the advent of technology has brought about unprecedented opportunities for communication and access to information which has also created new avenues for criminals to exploit people, especially vulnerable women, and children. “We have seen incremental cases of Child Sexual Assault Materials on the internet, child pornography; sextortion, and revenge porn, and these are all forms of sexual exploitation. Which is why as an Agency we must take a proactive and collaborative approach to tackle online threats.
“So, NAPTIP in partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM), Meta, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Bureau (INL), National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and UNODC, has trained 20 Officers from the HQ and Zonal Commands on Child Sexual Exploitation Materials, Open Source & Social Media Intelligence as well as Online Investigation.
“The Cybersecurity Response Team made up of trained Officers from different units and departments, coordinated by the Head of the National Monitoring Center will leverage cutting-edge technology and expertise to identify perpetrators of cybercrimes within our remit.
“In addition, the unit is expected to work closely with other stakeholders in this space to enhance our collective response to cybersecurity and online exploitation challenges.
“Now, given the constant presence of threat actors, cyberattacks against private and public organizations are inevitable. Because attackers face relatively little risk compared to the potential losses that the organizations they target could suffer, hackers have an advantage over those targeted. Which is why the Cybersecurity Task Team is also charged with the responsibility of preventing and responding to cyber-attacks on the Agency’s cyber infrastructure through an Embedded Endurance strategy”, the Director General said.
It is on record that the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), has continued to be on top of its game through proactive operations and the bustling of several organized human trafficking-related syndicates across the Country with the attendant results of several arrests, rescue, and prosecution of traffickers.
It is believed that the setting up of the NAPTIP’s Cybersecurity Task Team is a timely and thoughtful strategic step signaling a dead end to activities of human traffickers and other related syndicates in the Country. NAPTIP was a member of the National Technical Committee for the Development of the National Child Online Protection Policy and Strategy and a Member of the Global Action on Cybercrime Extended (GLACY+) National Coordination Team.