Nigerian Minister, Northern Governor visit Egypt to acquire security platform for monitoring all mode of communication.
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In line with the dispensed information from the Sahara Reporters, the minister and a Nigerian Governor made a trip recently to equip themselves with more ways to clamp down on people’s freedom of speech.
A Nigerian minister hosted the company of a governor while they ventured into the northern part of Africa to Egypt to secure platforms that would enable them to monitor the calls, text messages, and other forms of communications known to Nigerian citizens. As relayed by a credible security source to Sahara reporters, the Minister and governor that went out of their way to make such a trip were bent on finding technological ways to distort constitutional rights and trample on the freedom of speech originally enjoyed by citizens.
The need to once more reference these self-made heroes are ever demanding as they fight to build their images in a positive light after they have made several appearances on news outlets for the wrong reasons.
This is actually a matter that deserves to be looked into whilst paying meticulous attention to every arising detail as events unfolds, everyone with a functioning eye would see that the clobbering down of free speech in Nigeria has become of great magnitude with men possessing false self-deluded principles going out of their ways to silence the individual voices possessed by a nation.
Amid the latter part of 2015, online printing and social media became bullet targets as the senate sponsored a petition to enable the regulation of post this alone was to give them full control of all information shared on all platforms but the follow-up backlash by the public abolished such.
If we jump forward a bit from that point of reference we’ll discover that in 2019, lawmakers constituted the national commission for the prohibition of hate speech bill and the protection from internet falsehood and manipulation and other related offenses bill. Funny enough the instituted bill is still something with foreign meaning to every affiliated entity to the powerhouse of the country as they still haven’t evolved to know the difference between actual hate speech and public opinion.
Similarly, the deliberation of a possible existing Nigerian firewall became an advancement that kick-started during the Endsars protest, it was believed that the Endsars protest in 2020 has tossed the government into a state of irrevocable desperation, one that would promote total dictatorship over cyberspace.
December 2020; a report recorded by the University of Toronto’s citizen lab noted that Nigeria’s Defense Intelligence Agency had acquired aegis that can enable them to peek into its citizen’s calls and text messages.
University of Toronto citizen lab research on digital surveillance, security privacy, and accountability
In a report titled running in circles: uncovering the clients of cyber espionage firm “circles” became the author, theme, and plot of the research. the larger part of it happened to hold first-class information about circle which the most apparent of them all was that, circle, a telecom surveillance company, has been helping state security apparatuses across 25 countries with the inclusion of Nigeria spy on communications of oppositions, journalists and protesters.
The report also relayed that Circles was affiliated with Tel-Aviv-based NSO group and also Israeli hacker-for-hire company whose software pegasus has allegedly been used times without number by several governments to spy on mavericks by assuming control of their communication devices, its camera’s and microphones and harvesting their personal information.
Circles popularly known for selling systems to exploit signaling 7(ss7) loopholes and Achilles heels has claimed to have sold the technology to a number of countries, according to the content of the report, SS7 is a system that enables one mobile network to connect with another.
This system mechanism unlike pegasus spyware doesn’t have a certain obvious signature on a target’s phone during operation making it hard to fall under detection. The report also indicated that pegasus and circles products could possibly be integrated.
Without leaving out the most exciting detail, the report, probably highlighted with bright red shades and bold caption proposed that at least two entities in Nigeria have employed the use of circles product. The report stated;
“One system may be operated by the same entity as one of the Nigerian customers of the fin fisher spyware that was detected in December 2014.
“The other client happens to be the Nigerian Defense Intelligence Agency(DIA) as Its firewall Ip addresses are in AS37258, a block of IP addresses registered to ‘HQ Defense Intelligence Agency Asokoro, Nigeria, Abuja
“…in Bayelsa state, the governor reportedly used the circles system to spy on his opponent in an election, as well as his opponent’s wife and sides
After a series of nose poking and investigations were carried out, it was discovered that the purchase and secure of this equipment weren’t done under issued directive and authorization from the office of national security adviser.
However, a 2016 investigation effectively carried out In response to public light removed the cover from under the table and revealed that the former Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi, had shaken hands with circles to seal an agreement for the provision of internet surveillance equipment. Unfortunately for him, the deal was far from successful.
Of recent development, the discovery of a supposed arrangement between the office of the presidency and cyberspace administration of China has had a conveyance with the main topic of building a firewall being on the lips of every present life form in attendance of that gathering.
This, of course, became a spontaneous development as Nigerians boycott the ban on Twitter and bypass all directives by electing the use of Virtual Private Networks(VPN) to once more register their presence on the microblogging platform.
In accordance with Fij’s report, the government personage present at the meeting included the chief of staff to the president Ibrahim Gambari and the person who adds “controversy” to “controversial”, the minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed.
This internet firewall and its development that has gathered together a host of government officials is a development that grants the Nigerian internet a separate network, a network that would give total capitalism to the government over social media platforms the likes of Twitter and Facebook.
This ingenious plan sharing all similarities with the great firewall of China can vest power on the government to avail a block option for VPNs.