Search Mailing List Archives


Limit search to: Subject & Body Subject Author
Sort by: Reverse Sort
Limit to: All This Week Last Week This Month Last Month
Select Date Range     through    

[liberationtech] New EFF Lawsuit: American Sues Ethiopian Government for Spyware Infection

Shava Nerad shava23 at gmail.com
Wed Feb 19 01:50:06 PST 2014


http://tagdef.com/popcorn for those unfamiliar with the idiom.

It's not for the Ethiopian cases per se.

However there are other state actors in Maryland and the UK engaging in
phenomenally parallel acts on the basis of what some term "secret
interpretations" of US law, in our case.

These cases will be cited as technology precedents for privacy from
surveillance from state actors who don't have freaking 100% pristine
charters, wouldn't you think?  State actors who contract, say, malware,
backdoors, what have you.

If we get a cut and dry offshore foreign intel case, then the "differential
diagnoses" become more distinct.

If the case were to become anticipated in this way, the administration
could put administrative delays or pressure State to block it somehow.
(They aren't dense, I imagine they've noticed and thought through this
already.)

Very nice.  These cases deserve support.

SN
On Feb 18, 2014 10:51 PM, "Andrés Leopoldo Pacheco Sanfuentes" <
alps6085 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Popcorn? Really?
> On Feb 18, 2014 8:26 PM, "Shava Nerad" <shava23 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Why, the parrallels to these cases, once established as precedent, could
>> be provocative.
>>
>> (Grabs popcorn.)
>> SN
>> On Feb 18, 2014 3:09 PM, "Mustafa Al-Bassam" <mus at musalbas.com> wrote:
>>
>>> This is great. Would also like to add that yesterday a criminal
>>> complaint was filed in the UK for a similar situation:
>>>
>>> https://www.privacyinternational.org/press-releases/privacy-international-seeking-investigation-into-computer-spying-on-refugee-in-uk
>>>
>>> Mustafa
>>>
>>> On 18/02/14 18:16, Nate Cardozo wrote:
>>> > Hi LibTech,
>>> >
>>> > Today, we sued the Ethiopian Government for its use of the malware
>>> > described in last year's Citizen Lab report. Thanks to Citizen Lab for
>>> > their amazing work. Details below.
>>> >
>>> > Best,
>>> > Nate
>>> >
>>> > --
>>> > Nate Cardozo
>>> > Staff Attorney
>>> > Electronic Frontier Foundation
>>> > 815 Eddy Street
>>> > San Francisco, CA 94109
>>> > nate at eff.org | 415.436.9333 x146
>>> >
>>> > Help EFF defend our rights in the digital world
>>> > https://www.eff.org/donate
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> https://www.eff.org/press/releases/american-sues-ethiopian-government-spyware-infection
>>> >
>>> > February 18, 2014
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >     American Sues Ethiopian Government for Spyware Infection
>>> >
>>> > Months of Electronic Espionage Put American Citizen and Family at Risk
>>> >
>>> > Washington, D.C. - An American citizen living in Maryland sued the
>>> > Ethiopian government today for infecting his computer with secret
>>> > spyware, wiretapping his private Skype calls, and monitoring his entire
>>> > family's every use of the computer for a period of months. The
>>> > Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is representing the plaintiff in
>>> > this case, who has asked the court to allow him to use the pseudonym
>>> Mr.
>>> > Kidane - which he uses within the Ethiopian community - in order to
>>> > protect the safety and wellbeing of his family both in the United
>>> States
>>> > and in Ethiopia.
>>> >
>>> > "We have clear evidence of a foreign government secretly infiltrating
>>> an
>>> > American's computer in America, listening to his calls, and obtaining
>>> > access to a wide swath of his private life," said EFF Staff Attorney
>>> > Nate Cardozo. "The current Ethiopian government has a well-documented
>>> > history of human rights violations against anyone it sees as political
>>> > opponents. Here, it wiretapped a United States citizen on United States
>>> > soil in an apparent attempt to obtain information about members of the
>>> > Ethiopian diaspora who have been critical of their former government.
>>> > U.S. laws protect Americans from this type of unauthorized electronic
>>> > spying, regardless of who is responsible."
>>> >
>>> > A forensic examination of Mr. Kidane's computer showed that the device
>>> > had been infected when he opened a Microsoft Word document that
>>> > contained hidden malware. The document had been an attachment to an
>>> > email message sent by agents of the Ethiopian government and forwarded
>>> > to Mr. Kidane. The spyware contained in the attachment was a program
>>> > called FinSpy, a suite of surveillance software marketed exclusively to
>>> > governments by the Gamma Group of Companies. In the several months
>>> > FinSpy was on Mr. Kidane's computer, it recorded a vast array of
>>> > activities conducted by users of the machine. Traces of the spyware
>>> > inadvertently left on his computer show that information - including
>>> > recordings of dozens of Skype phone calls - was surreptitiously sent to
>>> > a secret control server located in Ethiopia and controlled by the
>>> > Ethiopian government.
>>> >
>>> > The infection appears to be part of a systematic program by the
>>> > Ethiopian government to spy on perceived political opponents in the
>>> > Ethiopian diaspora around the world. Reports from human rights agencies
>>> > and news outlets have detailed Ethiopia's campaign of international
>>> > espionage, aimed at jailing opposition and undermining dissent. But
>>> > Ethiopia is not alone. CitizenLab - a group of researchers based at the
>>> > University of Toronto, Canada - has found evidence that governments
>>> > around the world use FinSpy and other technologies to spy on human
>>> > rights and democracy advocates across the globe.
>>> >
>>> > "The problem of governments violating the privacy of their political
>>> > opponents through digital surveillance is not isolated - it's already
>>> > big and growing bigger," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "Yet
>>> > despite the international intrigue and genuine danger involved in this
>>> > lawsuit, at bottom it's a straightforward case. An American citizen was
>>> > wiretapped at his home in Maryland, and he's asking for his day in
>>> court
>>> > under longstanding American laws."
>>> >
>>> > In the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.,
>>> > today, Mr. Kidane asks for a jury trial as well as damages for
>>> > violations of the U.S. Wiretap Act and state privacy law. The Ethiopian
>>> > Embassy in Washington received a courtesy copy of the lawsuit, and the
>>> > District Court will formally serve the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry in
>>> > Addis Ababa with copies of the papers in both English and Amharic.
>>> >
>>> > Richard M. Martinez, Mahesha P. Subbaraman, and Samuel L. Walling of
>>> > Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. are assisting EFF as co-counsel
>>> > on this case.
>>> >
>>> > For the full complaint in Kidane v. Ethiopia:
>>> > https://www.eff.org/document/complaint-32
>>> >
>>> > For more on this case:
>>> > https://www.eff.org/cases/kidane-v-ethiopia
>>> >
>>> > Contacts:
>>> >
>>> > Nate Cardozo
>>> >    Staff Attorney
>>> >    Electronic Frontier Foundation
>>> >    nate at eff.org
>>> >
>>> > Cindy Cohn
>>> >    Legal Director
>>> >    Electronic Frontier Foundation
>>> >    cindy at eff.org
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> --
>>> Liberationtech is public & archives are searchable on Google. Violations
>>> of list guidelines will get you moderated:
>>> https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/liberationtech.
>>> Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password by emailing moderator at
>>> companys at stanford.edu.
>>>
>>
>> --
>> Liberationtech is public & archives are searchable on Google. Violations
>> of list guidelines will get you moderated:
>> https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/liberationtech.
>> Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password by emailing moderator at
>> companys at stanford.edu.
>>
>
> --
> Liberationtech is public & archives are searchable on Google. Violations
> of list guidelines will get you moderated:
> https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/liberationtech.
> Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password by emailing moderator at
> companys at stanford.edu.
>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman.stanford.edu/pipermail/liberationtech/attachments/20140219/fce82121/attachment.html>


More information about the liberationtech mailing list