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[liberationtech] Hacking Team and the Targeting of Ethiopian Journalists

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at
Fri Feb 14 12:42:04 PST 2014

On 02/14/2014 01:23 PM, hellekin wrote:
> Hash: SHA512
> 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.

That last sentence doesn't make much sense, partly because the 
innocuous-sounding "technical know-how" directly impacts how much work 
the citizenry must do in order to wrest back control from the government.

And how is it that the same citizens whose inaction troubles you become 
nameless logic-bots when they put on a business suit?


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