A report by the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab has stated that the Federal government, through its Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) has acquired equipment it can use to spy on its citizens’ calls and text messages.
The report, published on its official website said a telecom surveillance company called ‘Circles’ has been helping Nigeria and 24 other countries to spy on communications of its citizens especially that of members of NGOs, journalists and protesters.
“Our scanning identified two Circles systems in Nigeria. One system may be operated by the same entity as one of the Nigerian customers of the FinFisher spyware that we detected in December 2014.
“The firewall IPs are in the same /27 as the IP address of the FinFisher C&C server we detected in our 2014 scans (188.8.131.52).
“The other client appears to be the Nigerian Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), as its firewall IPs are in AS37258, a block of IP addresses registered to “HQ Defence Intelligence Agency Asokoro, Nigeria, Abuja.” the report read in part.
While there has not been official reaction from the Federal government on the report yet, Citizen Lab also recalled members of the civil society in Nigeria are purportedly facing a wide range of digital threats.
“A recent report by Front Line Defenders concluded that Nigeria’s government “has conducted mass surveillance of citizens’ telecommunications.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has also reported multiple cases of the Nigerian government abusing phone surveillance.”