Tech new update for the last week of May, 2024

ITSA Tech news update
TikTok Users Sue US Government, Citing First Amendment Violations Over Biden’s Statute

A group of eight TikTok users has taken legal action against the US federal government, alleging that a statute signed by President Joe Biden violates their First Amendment rights. The users claim that the statute, aimed at regulating online content, unfairly restricts their freedom of speech and expression. They argue that the statute’s vague language and broad scope could lead to censorship and suppression of legitimate online activities, including their own creative content on TikTok.

The lawsuit contends that the statute’s ambiguity and overreach could chill online expression, as users may self-censor to avoid potential legal repercussions. The plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment that the statute is unconstitutional and an injunction to prevent its enforcement. This legal challenge raises important questions about the balance between online regulation and individual liberties in the digital age, and its outcome may have significant implications for online speech and creativity.

Google Unveils AI-Powered Features on Android Phones for Enhanced User Experience

Tech giant Google is revolutionizing the Android experience with a suite of AI-driven features, designed to enhance user safety, productivity, and overall interaction. The latest rollout includes Gemini Nano, a cutting-edge live scam detection system, utilizes machine learning algorithms to identify and alert users to potential threats in real time.

The update also introduces the Gemini 1.5 language model, an upgraded language processing AI, enabling more accurate and context-aware interactions with Google Assistant. Additionally, a brand-new voice assistant, leveraging advanced AI capabilities to provide more personalized and intuitive support, is being launched.

Furthermore, Circle to Search, an innovative homework assistance tool, uses AI to help users find relevant information and answers. The update also includes AI scam protection, a comprehensive safeguard against various types of scams, including phishing, fraud, and more.

Lastly, the role of Gemini on Android phones has been enhanced, integrating AI-driven features seamlessly into the user interface. These AI-powered features aim to transform the Android experience, providing users with a safer, more efficient, and more enjoyable mobile experience.


Flutterwave Assures Customers of Fund Safety Amid Security Breach Concerns

Flutterwave, a leading Nigerian fintech company, has recently addressed concerns about a security breach on its system, reassuring customers that their funds remain safe and secure. The company detected unusual activities on one of its platforms in April 2024, which led to the discovery of the breach. Although the incident allegedly resulted in the loss of ₦11 billion (approximately $7.2 million), Flutterwave maintains that customers’ funds were not compromised.

Flutterwave promptly informed law enforcement agencies and provided them with the IP address and details of the offenders, ensuring swift action to mitigate the situation. Additionally, the company notified its regulator, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), about the incident, demonstrating its commitment to transparency and accountability.

In response to the breach, Flutterwave has taken decisive steps to enhance security features on the affected platform, safeguarding customers’ interests. As an extra precaution, the company is migrating some customers to another platform to ensure their continued safety and peace of mind.

While this incident is not the first security challenge Flutterwave has faced – having experienced an unauthorized transfer incident in March 2023, resulting in the loss of over ₦2.9 billion – the company’s proactive response and commitment to customer security are reassuring. Flutterwave’s swift action and transparency have helped maintain customer trust and confidence in the company’s services.


NCC Suspends Issuance of Licenses in Three Categories, Citing Market Review

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced the temporary suspension of issuing communication licenses in three categories, effective May 17, 2024. The affected categories are:

– Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)

– Interconnect Exchange

– Value Added Service Aggregator


This suspension is a proactive measure to allow the Commission to conduct a comprehensive review of the current market dynamics, competition level, and saturation in these categories. The NCC aims to assess the existing landscape, identify potential issues, and develop strategies to promote a healthier and more competitive market environment.

During the suspension period, the NCC will not accept new applications for these licenses. However, pending applications will be evaluated on their merits, and decisions will be made accordingly. This temporary suspension demonstrates the NCC’s commitment to ensuring a robust and sustainable telecommunications industry in Nigeria.

The review process will involve stakeholder engagement, market analysis, and assessments to determine the best course of action for the industry’s growth and development. The NCC will provide updates and guidance as necessary, and the public is encouraged to stay informed about developments in this regard.


EU Commission Launches Investigation into Facebook and Instagram over Child Safety Concerns

The European Union Commission has initiated an investigation into the operations of two Meta platforms, Facebook and Instagram, citing concerns about the safety of children using the platforms. This move comes as part of the EU’s efforts to ensure that tech companies comply with its stringent regulations on child protection and online safety.

The investigation will focus on whether Facebook and Instagram have taken adequate measures to protect children from harmful content, including hate speech, cyberbullying, and online predators. The EU Commission will also assess whether the platforms have implemented sufficient safeguards to prevent children from accessing inappropriate content and to address concerns about addiction and mental health.

This probe is part of the EU’s broader efforts to hold tech companies accountable for their impact on society, particularly when it comes to the well-being of children and young people. The EU’s new Digital Services Act, which came into effect in 2024, gives the Commission increased powers to investigate and sanction tech companies that fail to comply with its rules.

Meta faces potential fines and other penalties if found to be in violation of EU regulations. The company will need to demonstrate that it has taken concrete steps to address child safety concerns and ensure that its platforms are safe and secure for all users, including children and young people.


Nigeria to Establish Nigerian Startup House in San Francisco, Boosting Tech Ties with the US

The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced plans to set up the Nigerian Digital Technology Exchange Program Hub, also known as the Nigerian Startup House, in San Francisco, United States of America. This initiative aims to strengthen Nigeria’s tech industry by providing a platform for Nigerian startups to access the global market, network with international investors and partners, and showcase their innovative solutions.

The Nigerian Startup House will serve as a hub for Nigerian tech entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors, offering resources, mentorship, and support to help them scale their businesses and compete globally. The hub will also facilitate collaboration between Nigerian and US tech companies, fostering knowledge sharing, joint research, and development of new technologies.

This move is part of Nigeria’s efforts to diversify its economy, promote digital transformation, and become a key player in the global tech industry. By establishing a presence in San Francisco, Nigeria will tap into the vibrant Silicon Valley ecosystem, attracting investments, talent, and expertise to drive its tech sector growth. The Nigerian Startup House is expected to become a catalyst for innovation, job creation, and economic growth in Nigeria and beyond.


Corporate Affairs Commission Exploring AI-Powered Company Registration to Enhance Efficiency

The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is embracing innovation by exploring the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to revolutionize company registration in Nigeria. The goal is to achieve registration within minutes, aligning with global best practices and fostering a more efficient and business-friendly environment.

In partnership with the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), the CAC is harnessing the power of AI and high-powered computing (HPC) to enhance its operations and reduce registration timelines significantly. This technological leap forward will not only streamline processes but also increase transparency and accuracy.

By leveraging AI, the CAC aims to:

– Automate registration processes

– Enhance data analysis and validation

– Reduce manual errors

– Provide real-time updates and feedback

This initiative demonstrates the CAC’s commitment to embracing digital transformation and positioning Nigeria as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa. By harnessing the potential of AI, the CAC is poised to make company registration faster, more efficient, and more accessible, ultimately contributing to the country’s economic growth and development.

MTN Nigeria CEO Accused of Evading Service in Copyright Infringement Case

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has accused Karl Toriola, Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, of evading service in a copyright infringement case. The NCC alleges that MTN Nigeria and its CEO have been avoiding legal summons, hindering the progress of the case.

The copyright infringement case, filed in 2024, accuses MTN Nigeria of using several soundtracks as callback ringtones without obtaining the necessary permissions and licenses from the original owners. The NCC claims that this violation occurred between 2010 and 2017 and involves the sale, exposure, and offer for sale of infringing copies of musical works and sound recordings.


The defendants, including MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, Karl Toriola, Nkeakam Abhulimen, Fun Mobile Limited, and Yahaya Maibe, have filed a preliminary objection to the suit, arguing that the case is defective and should be struck out. However, the NCC’s legal team, led by Gladys Isaac Ojo, maintains that the defendants are trying to frustrate the legal process by evading service

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has adjourned the case to June 27, 2024, for the defendants to take their plea. The NCC is determined to see the case through to its conclusion, ensuring that copyright laws are enforced and intellectual property rights are protected in Nigeria.

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