MS Joins Nigeria to Fight Internet Crime

The country of Nigeria said on Friday it would begin working with Microsoft to combat Internet crime originating in its country. The agreement marks the first time the Redmond company is working with an African country on such issues. Nigerian moneymaking e-mail scams are probably the oldest and most well known spam on the Internet, which the government for a long time let occur without much intervention.

Most e-mails ask for some type of monetary payment in order to receive a portion of deceased African dictator’s fortunes. However, these fortunes don’t exist, and those sending the e-mails keep the money collected. However, in recent months the Nigerian government has begun to take on nationals within the country that are sending out millions of these e-mails, most recently proposing jail time of up to three years for convicted spammers. The legislation is currently making its way through the Nigerian Parliament, and criminalizes the use of a computer to spam or commit fraud, among other uses already illegal in most nations such as terrorist threats.

Microsoft will offer technical support to the government to combat crime, as well as help track down those responsible.

The current president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, is now in his second four-year term. Obasanjo has made cleaning up decades of corruption a major part of his presidency.


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