How dark is the web in Nigeria?

How dark is the web in Nigeria?


It may be hard to say exactly how much of the internet in Nigeria is used in illegal and criminal activities, but it is certain that some of the Nigerian webspace is home to such activities. The most popular of such illegal and criminal activity in Nigeria has been scam and fraud.

Those who carry out scam and fraud on the internet in Nigeria are popularly called ‘yahoo-yahoo’. The same term is often used to describe the activity itself.

Internet scam and fraud in Nigeria has mostly been targeted at the international community. Scam and fraud cases worth millions of dollar have been traced to Nigeria by cybercrime investigation units from the international community. In a report published August 1, 2016, a 40-year old Nigerian man called ‘Mike’ got arrested for ‘global scams worth more than $60m’. This is just one out of so many cases.

The Nigerian government has found it difficult to monitor or control these activities mostly because of lack of strong cyber know-how and unchecked corruption in government agencies, especially those of law enforcement. According to report, the arrest of the Nigerian scammer Mike was initiated by interpol. Nigeria’s economic and financial crime agency EFCC only entered into the picture later to collaborate with interpol on the arrest operation in Nigeria.

Kidnapping, cyberbullying and terrorism are among other illegal and criminal activities that are starting to show up on Nigeria’s webspace. Groups like the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) and Boko Haram have used the internet for some of their operations. Leaked nude videos or pictures of Nigerian celebrities or important people hit the internet more and more.

This is probably how dark the web in Nigeria is for now. It is uncertain how much more illegal and criminal activities go on out on the Nigerian webspace than the few that have been pointed out here. This is mostly because the dark web is mostly hidden away in the deep web where search engines never index them and it is difficult to monitor.

There are many countries with far more notorious webspace than this. Illegal and criminal activities like drugs, child porn, cyberattacks and hired murder go on in the dark web in America, as seen in the popular Silk Road case.

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