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[liberationtech] Hacking Team and the Targeting of Ethiopian Journalists

hellekin hellekin at cepheide.org
Fri Feb 14 10:23:52 PST 2014


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On 02/14/2014 02:30 PM, Morgan Marquis-Boire wrote:
> Thanks Frank,
> 
> Thanks for the kind words. The ubiquitous targeting of journalists
>  is very concerning.
> 
*** Indeed it is. Thank you for this report. I find troubling though
that an actor is singled out in a mess of complex interactions. I
don't think a Virginia-based satellite company is more recommendable
than a Milan-based government-only surveillance company.

There seems to be a general trend, not just in your paper, to
systematically attack governments and polarize the discourse towards
their bad practice, and the lackey private companies that serve them.
I find it troubling because it promotes simple, polarized views and
scapegoating, and proves counter-productive as far as the resistance
to surveillance is concerned.

It's a pity that the general *reaction* to the Snowden Apocalypse is
total war on government, as it serves the very corporate interests
that avoid paying taxes and keeps expanding their control over minds
and resources all over the planet. If even Noam Chomsky raises the
flag of government, one can legitimately ponder any decision that
undermines any single actor and use that tree to hide the forest.
Beware of disinformation.

As far as Hacking Team, and the targeting of Ethiopian journalists are
concerned, I see that this company is selling a product to
institutions that use it for their own interest. What's the surprise
there? Looking anywhere for issues works: there are issues everywhere.
Assessing them is important, but there is a limit as to what to
target. I think Hacking Team is just one of the many actors in a very
damageable industry. Just one.

Such an industry would certainly be limited if citizens were
controlling their government. Political apathy is more troubling to me
than a company taking advantage of their technical know-how to make a
profit. And again, a VA-based satellite company operating in Ethiopia
sounds as suspect to me as your scapegoat.

==
hk

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