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[liberationtech] Finfisher Spy Kit Revealed in Bahrain

Jillian C. York jilliancyork at
Sat Jul 28 14:45:06 PDT 2012


On Sat, Jul 28, 2012 at 1:40 PM, Jacob Appelbaum <jacob at>wrote:

> Pavol Luptak:
> > On Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 11:54:33PM +0200, Andre Rebentisch wrote:
> >> Am 27.07.2012 12:58, schrieb Erich M.:
> >>> Here is my take [German alas] on that matter including the
> >>> reaction of the Social Democrat fraction in Europarl. MEP
> >>> Leichtfried from .AT has been the rapporteur and the guy who
> >>> managed to introduce surveillance software into the catalogue of
> >>> "dual use" goods.
> >>
> >> Software is a service, not a good. Without discouraging the efforts:
> >> While it may undermine the commercial base it won't help to stop the
> >> spread of these tools.
> >> The Service aspect frames it more into commercial assistence of
> >> foreign espionage, here foreign domestic espionage. "Services" imply
> >> that the export nations do not develop the capabilities themselves
> >> and allows for all kind of trojan horses ("export versions") and
> >> contacts, from which you could assess the current capabilities of
> >> the regime.
> >>
> >> Ironic: During the 90ths we voiced strong opinions against crypto
> >> export regulations, now virtually the same community seeks export
> >> controls for surveillance technology.
> The above statement is frankly, offensive. Most of the people fighting
> the cryptowars are absent from this discussion. Please don't tarnish
> their hard work with your lack of history or knowledge on the topic.
> The people involved in the current debate, of which is there is some
> overlap, most certainly want companies who break the law, for purposes
> of committing serious crimes against humanity (eg: Syria), to be held to
> account. They don't make general purpose software for everyone as a
> matter of free speech, they are custom tailoring solutions for
> dictatorships to murder people. When they appropriate free software,
> disregarding the terms offered under copyright, denying their "users"
> the code under the spirit and the letter of the rules, yeah, people are
> upset with them for doing that! Are you free to use their software? Are
> their users? No, often their users are not free - not free as in speech
> and in some cases, not even free as in alive!
> The EFF, who basically won the cryptowars outright, specifically
> proposes a know your customer approach, which is about as hands off as
> is possible while still being engaged.
> > I am a bit skeptical about it. From the technical point of view to
> prohibit
> > a business between EU/US companies and dictatorship countries is almost
> > impossible (because they can use dozens of subcontractors in many 'grey'
> > countries and they do it if they want). Therefore, it is hard to say if
> this
> > should be regulated by a law, I would prefer market - personally I would
> never
> > buy anything from the company that supports a dictator regime. The most
> > companies cannot afford to do it, because otherwise their reputation can
> be
> > endangered.
> This is also ridiculous and ignoring reality. Did you have a lot of
> choice in the packet routing of your email Pavol? No so much. You're not
> the market's target segment and your protest won't have impact on
> Cisco's market cap. The Free Market doesn't decide who buys carrier
> grade surveillance equipment nor does it negotiate national data
> retention data storage sales. The State does and rarely, if ever, do we
> have a say about that - something we probably are both REALLY frustrated
> about!
> Likewise, the free market has yet to deal with Cisco, EMC, and the myrid
> of companies like Nokia Siemens, Huawei and others who directly sell
> surveillance, censorship and outright tracking systems. The "market" has
> rewarded Cisco for their efforts with the Golden Shield project. This is
> even after Cisco was caught red handed advertising it for use in hunting
> down unwanted (religious) groups of people.
> I don't believe that export controls or total absolute sanctions are the
> right path forward. Rather, we should hold these companies to account
> for their actions _in the US and Europe_ where they would not be
> reasonable, legal or ethical. Specifically when they do this for a
> profit and disregard the impact on society as a whole - something most
> of these companies are doing without even a slight regard for human life.
> I realize that my above email is perhaps a bit harsh but it is so
> incredible frustrating to rehash these old arguments and these tired
> debates. There are people who are being targeted for torture and even
> murder in Bahrain, Syria and other places. We are able to do something
> about it and we are doing something about it.
> Sincerely frustrated,
> Jacob
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*+1-857-891-4244 |** | @jilliancyork *

"We must not be afraid of dreaming the seemingly impossible if we want the
seemingly impossible to become a reality" - *Vaclav Havel*
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