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French firm helped Kadhafi spy on opposition: report

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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-30-11 11:33 AM
Original message
French firm helped Kadhafi spy on opposition: report
Source: AFP

A subisidiary of French IT firm Bull helped Moamer Kadhafi's regime spy on the emails and chat messages of opponents of the fallen Libyan strongman, a report said Tuesday.

Amesys, which on its website describes itself as "a key player in the field of security and critical systems at national and international levels," installed a monitoring centre in Tripoli in 2009, the Wall Street Journal said.

The paper, quoting people familiar with the matter, said the firm equipped the centre with "deep packet inspection" technology to snoop on the online activities of Kadhafi's enemies.

The Libyan regime earlier this year held talks with Amesys and other firms, including Boeing's Narus unit, a maker of internet traffic-monitoring products, as they sought to boost the regime's surveillance apparatus, the Journal said.

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/french-firm-helped-kadhafi-spy-op...
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-30-11 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. Not surprising. Narus also supplies most of the other regimes in the area.
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-30-11 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
2. It wasn't enough
they obviously didn't get everyone.

What some Corporations will do for Money.


With an estimated 50,000 dead Libyans, how many were arrested, tortured and killed as a result?

There needs to be some serious lawsuits.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-30-11 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #2
3.  I was wondering if the French government wasn't also using
this intelligence for their own ends. :shrug:
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-30-11 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Could be
The equipment could have a Back Door in the software that allows French Intelligence to access the files.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-30-11 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. That would explain their early backing for the rebellion, possibly knew the outcome in advance.
Seeing as how the French would have access to more sophisticated monitoring software that can see through things like code language (a common practice in Libya was to talk in code when you disagreed with the regime). It's possible they knew that Tripoli wasn't really a Gaddafi stronghold before the entire thing began.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-30-11 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. That is due to the fact that Gaddafi's top officials were in on the rebellion. Double agents.
A Double Agent in Gadhafi Camp
TRIPOLI, LibyaFor more than five months in a city locked down by forces loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi, regime opponents in Tripoli's Fashloom neighborhood relied on a fellow resistance leader who told them with uncanny accuracy how to evade security sweeps and tipped them off to impending raids against them.

On Thursday, as a rebel advance broke Col. Gadhafi's grip over his capital, the man identified himself to those beyond his underground cell: He is Mahmoud Ben Jumaa, a senior officer in Col. Gadhafi's personal security force.

In his double-agent role in the uprising, Mr. Ben Jumaa by day issued orders to arrest or tail suspected rebels. By night, the 54-year-old met secretly with those trying to overthrow his boss, who in turn were part of a city-wide opposition to the strongman.

...

"I directed one of the great oppressive organs of Gadhafi's government," Mr. Ben Jumaa said Thursday. "And all the while I was doing everything I could to make sure this revolution succeeded."


There were hundreds upon hundreds of videos of the Tripoli activists posted on FaceBook, it would not have been possible to get this resistance message out to the world if it wasn't for guys like him (even if he was ultimately playing both sides to be able to claim to be on the victor side).
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-30-11 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
5. People using the Internet just have to make the assumption
that everything they send or receive over the Internet is being monitored.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-30-11 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. It's not just the internet, it's cell phones and land lines, too.
The new constitution abolishes Gaddafi's security culture in one fell swoop, and insures privacy for all Libyan's (no wiretapping without a warrant, etc). It's pretty crazy. Some say as much as 25% of Libyan's were employed in the security apparatus, spying on conversations.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-30-11 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
6. Gaddafi's "security culture" goes way back, and the west was complicit: Firms Aided Libyan Spies
Firms Aided Libyan Spies
Caught in the snare of Libya's surveillance web was Human Rights Watch researcher Heba Morayef, who handles Libya reporting for the activist group. Files monitoring at least two Libyan opposition activists included emails written by her, as well as messages to her from them.

...

Across town from the Internet monitoring center at Libya's international phone switch, where telephone calls exit and enter the country, a separate group of Col. Gadhafi's security agents staffed a room equipped with VASTech devices, people familiar with the matter said. There they captured roughly 30 to 40 million minutes of mobile and landline conversations a month and archived them for years, one of the people said.

...

"We're likely to disappear if you aren't careful," a 22-year-old student who helped organize some of the biggest protests near Tripoli said in a Skype chat with a foreign journalist before fleeing to Egypt. Then, on March 1, two of his friends were arrested four hours after calling a foreign correspondent from a Tripoli-based cellphone, according to a relative. It is unclear what division of the security service picked them up or whether they are still in jail.


This is just appalling. Yet Gaddafi was supposed to be allowed to do this shit because of "sovereignty." And the west was allowed to profit immensely from this shit. I thought we had export restrictions for the very reason to prevent crap like this? This article does go into that, but apparently the spying techniques were legal. Should've been illegal, to be frank.
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