Nigeria’s foremost spy agency, Department of State Services (DSS), has received approval from President Muhammadu Buhari to acquire a super-sophisticated BIG BROTHER technology that will grant secret agents limitless, round-the-clock access to everything you say or transmit via the encrypted WhatsApp mobile application as part of an invasive surveillance of the country’s 170 million phone subscribers and 122 million internet users.
Authoritative sources familiar with the approval and development confided in THEWILL that a budget of about N3 billion has been approved to purchase the technology.
“The technology has been paid for and should be on our shores and operational in another 6-8 weeks,” one of the sources told THEWILL.
A training programme has also been arranged for designated security operatives who will operate the equipment, according to the sources, who opted to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the subject.
Apart from targeting users of Facebook-owned WhatsApp, THEWILL could not as at press time determine whether the technology can bug users of other fast-growing encrypted phone messaging services like Telegram and Signal.
Known informally as the BIG BROTHER technology, the new equipment will expand the DSS’s capacity for phone monitoring, phone tapping, audio surveillance, video surveillance, internet monitoring and location monitoring throughout the country’s entire communications spectrum.
Sources in government, say the purchase is coming on the heels of the country’s challenging security issues – terrorism, kidnapping and banditry, and not even constitutional provisions guaranteeing citizens’ personal privacy will be allowed to pose a stumbling block to this new acquisition.