Human Rights and the Will to be free
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Bahrain, MENA & Arab Spring
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FinSpy Software Is Tracking Political Dissidents

FinSpy Software Is Tracking Political Dissidents | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Two researchers say an off-the-shelf computer program has been used to monitor and spy on dissidents in countries around the world.
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Government Goons Impersonate Journalists to Trick Activists into Downloading Spyware - Hit & Run : Reason.com

Government Goons Impersonate Journalists to Trick Activists into Downloading Spyware - Hit & Run : Reason.com | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

...The folks over at the righteous defenders of journalists everywhere, the Committee to Protect Journalists, report on a case where Bahraini intelligence agents used a commercial surveillance program to spy on anti-government activists. As CPJ reports:

This week, Morgan Marquis-Boire and Bill Marczak of the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab provided a disturbing look into the likely use of a commercial surveillance program, FinFisher, to remotely invade and control the computers of Bahraini activists. After the software installs itself onto unsuspecting users' computer, it can record and relay emails, screenshots, and Skype audio conversations. It was deployed against Bahraini users after being concealed in seemingly innocent emails.

In one example decoded by Marquis-Bore's team, the message was crafted to appear to be from Melissa Chan, a journalist working for Al-Jazeera English. The attackers were using Chan's reputation as a journalist to trick their victims into opening the document...

Citizen Lab's analysis demonstrates that spyware supposedly made for law enforcement purposes by the UK company Gamma International is now being used in ways that no democratic society can tolerate. Gamma should immediately reveal whether they have been selling this technology to the Bahraini authorities and what it intends to do to prevent abuses from recurring.

Gamma International denies that it ever sold it to Bahrain. That may be so, but Egyptian activists who ransacked the Egyptian security headquarters claimed to recovered documents showing that the company had sold the spyware to the police in that country before Murbarak was overthrown.

I believe that selling tyrants the rope with which they will hang you (and others) is not a viable strategy for long-term profitability....

 

[#Spyware filter tag at this site ]

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Bahrain: Repression intensifies as Revolution is re-invigorated

Bahrain: Repression intensifies as Revolution is re-invigorated | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadhan the Bahraini Revolution has escalated dramatically. At least 25 demonstrations have taken place every day and night with one clear message: The people want regime change. Chanting like “Down with Hamad” has become the standard slogan uttered by the men and women participating in those protests.

The regime’s brutality has also not diminished. The use of chemical gases has intensified dramatically in the past three weeks. While the zeal of the people has intensified, the regime’s repression knows no bounds. Makeshift clinics in towns and villages have offered first aid to the victims who fear for their life to go to the main hospital at Salmaniya which is run by the military. Many observers believe that the situation has reached the point of no-return. The Alkhalifa regime is doomed as the people unanimously refuse to accept to be ruled by tribal hereditary dictatorship. Neither side is in a mood to compromise or engage in any form of dialogue. The hostilities have become so entrenched in the public domain that it is hard to imagine any kind of reconciliation between the two sides.

The Alkhalifa have lost the opportunity to retain any degree of power. They have reduced their choices to one; crushing the people to the ground with no compromise. On 23rd July Amnesty International called on the Alkhalifa to release all political prisoners: Bahrain must release all prisoners of conscience immediately and without conditions, Amnesty, ahead of appeals in the cases of a prominent human rights activist and a group of medical workers. Yet the regime deferred the case of Nabeel Rajab for another session in September. “The charade of justice has gone on too long in Bahrain, and all prisoners of conscience must be set free immediately and unconditionally before these appeals take place,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Programme Director.

“All convictions against them should be quashed.”

Nine months ago the Bissiouni report also recommended that these prisoners be released. None of the serious recommendations of the report has been implemented.

In another development, Bahraini Pro-democracy activists received the malware in Washington, London and Manama, the capital of Bahrain, the Persian Gulf kingdom that has been gripped by tension since a crackdown on protests last year.

Researchers believe they’ve identified copies of FinFisher, (a spyware sold by U.K.- based Gamma Group) based on an examination of malicious software e-mailed to Bahraini activists, they say. Their research, which is being published today by the University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs’ Citizen Lab, is based on five different e-mails obtained by Bloomberg News from people targeted by the malware.

On Monday 23rd July The Times newspaper published a one page article about Bahrain titled “Police ‘dodge security clean-up by torturing detainees at secret sites” highlighting the tactics adopted by the regime in its repression of activists.

The detainees whose number now exceeds 1200 are now facing severe crackdown. At the Dry Dock Prison detainees have been attacked at the middle of the night as a means of intimidation and repression. The cooling system has been switched off intermittently and the detainees have been subjected to more torture and beating.

...

 

[#Spyware filter tag at this site ]

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Bahrain using viruses on activists' computers | The Muslim News

Bahrain using viruses  on activists' computers | The Muslim News | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Bahrain has been using a virus to hack into and control the computers of key anti-government activists as they seek to crackdown on an uprising across the country, opposition figures claimed on Wednesday.

The activists' claimed that forces loyal to the government have been using a British-made system to seek to spy on them, which was downloaded onto computers through a fake attachment.

A number of prominent anti-government figures received an email which purported to be from a journalist at the Qatari-owned television channel al-Jazeera.

It claimed to have an attachment which included photographs of the government torture of Nabeel Rajab, the head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights who is currently in jail.

But activists who clicked on it were downloading a virus that allowed the controllers to monitor the computer, intercept Skype calls and log every keystroke.

It was impossible to be certain that the government forces were responsible for the hacking but Ala'a Shehabi, founder of the Bahrain Watch website and one of those targeted by the email, said she thought it was part of a wider cyber war.

"We only received this (email) in April and it seems like a new tactic," she said. "This is a different technique but its part of a wider cyber war." ...

 

[#Spyware filter tag at this site ]

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Bahrain Watch: UK Company Helps Bahrain Govt Spy On Activists

Bahrain Watch: UK Company Helps Bahrain Govt Spy On Activists | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

...

The malicious program was found to record keystrokes, take screenshots, record Skype calls, and steal passwords saved in web browsers, e-mail programs, and instant messaging programs. The malicious program sent this data to an internet address in Bahrain.

The analysis suggests that the malicious program is “FinSpy,” a product of UK firm Gamma International. FinSpy belongs to the FinFisher suite for “Governmental IT Intrusion and Remote Monitoring Solutions.” Gamma International was criticized for apparently selling the same product to Mubarak’s regime in Egypt. Before technology giant Apple closed the security gap, FinSpy would infect computers by tricking users into thinking that it was an iTunes update. London-based NGO Privacy International has threatened to take the UK government to court for failing to control the export of surveillance technology to repressive foreign regimes.

During the analysis of FinSpy, a stolen GMail password was later used in an attempt to access the GMail account, suggesting that the Bahraini government is actively monitoring and exploiting the information captured by FinSpy....

 

[#Spyware filter tag at this site ]

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Gamma Says No Spyware Sold to Bahrain; May Be Stolen Copy

Gamma Says No Spyware Sold to Bahrain; May Be Stolen Copy | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Gamma International GmbH’s managing director said his company didn’t sell its FinFisher spyware to Bahrain, responding to research that showed activists from the Persian Gulf kingdom were targeted by what looked like the software, which can...

 

[To those affected, it matters little how the software was obtained.....Al-Khalifa terrorists have it and are using it! ]   [#Spyware filter tag at this site ]

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