Home | News    Monday 1 April 2013

Ethiopia using spyware to monitor political activists: report

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

March 31, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) - A recently released report has indicated that the Ethiopian government is using a controversial spyware software called FinSpy to monitor the political activities of opposition groups in the country.

The report by the Citizen Lab based at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto said Ethiopia has used the surveillance technology to interfere with the political activities of Ginbot 7, an exiled opposition movement, designated as a terrorist entity by the Ethiopian government in 2011.

The researchers found a version of FinSpy in Ethiopia that tricked users into downloading FinSpy embedded photos and an image file of Ginbot 7.

According to the report, the Internet Protocol (IP) address used in tracking the opposition’s movements belonged to Ethiopia’s state-owned telecommunications corporation, Ethio Telecom.

“The existence of a FinSpy sample that contains Ethiopia-specific imagery and that communicates with a still-active command and control server in Ethiopia strongly suggests that the Ethiopian government is using FinSpy,” said Morgan Marquis-Boire, a security researcher and technical advisor at the Munk School and a security engineer at Google.

Ethiopian officials were unavailable on Sunday to respond to the allegations. However, in comments made to a local newspaper, an unnamed official from the ministry of communications and information technology (MoCIT) has dismissed the purchase and use of spyware technologies.

The report revealed that more countries are using the spyware technology than previously thought.

FinSpy was detected in 25 countries, including the United States, as well as several other countries with dubious human right records.

The software is designed to secretly infiltrate targeted computers or mobile phones to monitor communications and siphon data, such as passwords and audio from Skype calls, which it then transmits back to a server.

FinSpy surveillance software is commonly used by law enforcement agencies to monitor criminals. However, the report shows it is also being widely used by a number of repressive regimes, namely to spy on dissidents, independent human rights groups and critical journalists.

The software, which was developed in Germany and is available for purchase through a UK-based subsidiary of the Gamma Group, is “regularly sold to countries where dissenting political activity and free speech is criminalised”, researchers said in the report.

The Citizen Lab conducts research in the fields of digital media, global security, and human rights, with the aim of analysing and impacting the exercise of political power in cyberspace.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.



Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


The AUHIP needs to revisit its modus operandi 2018-12-15 19:00:42 By Gibril Ibrahim The latest round of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP)’s consultations with Sudanese parties in Addis Ababa (December 9 -13) ended in failure for reasons (...)

The influence of facetious leaders in South Sudan 2018-12-03 18:44:28 By Daniel Abushery Daniel It's like that old saying, "Everybody's talking about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it:" Public consultation is essential and healthy where there are (...)

Will Khartoum peace agreement bring reform or maintain tyranny? 2018-12-01 05:41:01 By Duop Chak Wuol Known for operating with a vicious precision, his trademark is ruthlessness, and how he manoeuvres his political rivals is irrefutably effective. Salva Kiir, the man in (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Progress observed at end of second month of R-ARCSS implementation 2018-10-22 06:44:02 Press Release 21 October 2018 South Sudanese government released 24 detainees in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) (...)

4th Annual Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum Announced for 25th October 2018 2018-10-15 12:38:14 PRESS RELEASE OCTOBER 14, 2018 Africa’s leading entrepreneurship-focused philanthropic organisation, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), has announced October 25, 2018, as the date for its (...)

Unity State community in Kenya supports Khartoum peace agreement 2018-08-17 08:33:21 PRESS STATMENT 14th Aug, 2018 Re: We shall Rally behind Khartoum Peace Agreement The Unity State Community Association in Kenya was established in 2010 to organize and mobilize the people of (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2018 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.