Sunday, 22 January 2017

Nigeria To Acquire Forensic And Intelligence Gathering Gadgets To Track Terrorists, Kidnappers

If things go according to plans, Nigerian security agencies will soon be able to rein in Kidnapping, terrorism and other criminal activities ravaging the country.

The Nation Newspaper reports that Nigeria's Secret Police otherwise known as the Directorate of State Security Service (DSS) is set to roll out one of the world’s latest tracking and forensic evidence recovery technologies. 

The DSS is said to have allocated a whopping N648,000,000 in the 2017 budget to enable it acquire  Athena Forensic Solution which helps real-time tracking of criminal activities in addition to revealing erased information, such as deleted text messages, photographs, video, contact information on devices like mobile phones, computers and cell sites belonging to suspects.

Athena Forensics, a Cardiff based UK company, is reputed for data recovery and intelligence-gathering tools with capabilities to identify past geographical locations visited with digital devices. ATHENA'S mobile device data acquisition device is also equipped with an integrated camera to capture still images and motion videos.

Besides, the system’s internal GPS system can also capture and record positional information to deliver complete intelligence package.

A source said: “Data extraction from mobile phones, digital devices, SIM and media cards have become very important for intelligence and security agencies, because terrorists and insurgents are increasingly deploying mobile digital devices to detonate attacks and communicate between different cells; while criminals are also using mobile technology for hostile and criminal activities to access, store and share information as well as for navigation.

“Globally, intelligence and security agencies are focusing on data extraction from mobile devices and the ATHENA solution places this capability in the hands of frontline military agencies.”

Sources said yesterday that as part of federal government’s efforts to upgrade technological capabilities for intelligence-gathering, a significant chunk of the N31,820,417,558 budget  for  the  Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA)’s and the DSS’ N40,419,118,044 2017 budget will be spent  on acquisition of high-grade digital intelligence-gathering technologies.

The ONSA’s digital technology projects for intelligence-gathering and defence as listed under the 2017 budget are provision of defence equipment (N7,721,364,000), Stravisky Project 1 for Security Equipment Systems (N5,470,995,994), Stravisky Project 2 (N8,400,000,000) and ‘Construct Operation Defence Equipment’ billed to cost N7,721,364,000.

The DSS’ 2017 budget includes Security Vote (Including Operations N2,400,000,000, Purchase of Security Equipment N7,251,408,235,  construction and renovation works on existing structures in DSS Model Secondary School at Musawa, Katsina N212,466,505, lining of DSS database to all formations, N102,500,000 and the purchase of Athena Forensic Solution at N648,000,000.

Recall that in 2013, the Goodluck Jonathan administration signed a pact with an Israeli firm, Elbit, for a multi-million dollar internet surveillance system, Wise Intelligent Technology (WIT).