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Fri Feb 21, 2020, 12:15 PM

Governments of the world just ramped up spying on reporters

https://www.cjr.org/first_person/ft-nations-surveillance-attacks.php

By Ahana Datta
February 17, 2020

One day last summer, I noticed that one of our Middle East correspondents was visiting the Financial Times newsroom. I’m head of cyber security at the paper, and I have found that foreign correspondents are often at the tip of the spear for strange and interesting threats. So I stopped to chat.

The correspondent, who I will not name for reasons that will soon become clear, mentioned that in recent weeks they had been receiving mysterious WhatsApp calls. The numbers were unrecognized. Afterward, their phone battery had drained quickly. And they were sometimes unable to end other calls, because the screen seemed to freeze.

They had been working on an investigation into surveillance on journalists and human rights activists in a particular Middle Eastern nation, and had been in contact with sources the government was hostile to. We decided the reporter was safer with a separate device for this story.

The next morning, as I took a similar turn around the newsroom, four other correspondents reported that they, too, had had the same issue. All were either on the same desk or helping out on the same story. It is vastly unlikely that five phones would face such a specific issue at the same time by chance. This was no ordinary bug.

The draining battery indicated that something or someone was using the phone’s resources. We did a forensic analysis, and could not easily identify this software or person. So we began to suspect a sophisticated effort, one that not many people, or even companies, could manage. It was almost certainly an attack by a nation state—most likely the one we were investigating. There’s no real way to defend against such attacks. So we decided to use disposable phones and SIM cards.

. . . more


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Reply Governments of the world just ramped up spying on reporters (Original post)
swag Feb 21 OP
Frustratedlady Feb 21 #1
eppur_se_muova Feb 21 #2
Blue_Tires Feb 21 #3
Haggis for Breakfast Feb 21 #4

Response to swag (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 12:33 PM

1. Can't read the article...

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Response to Frustratedlady (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 01:48 PM

2. I had to turn off my ad blocker before the page would load properly.

After I turned it back on, I could still read the article.

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Response to swag (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 03:22 PM

3. Greenwald and Snowden were unavailable for comment

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Response to swag (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 11:00 PM

4. THIS is some next level scary shit.

Read the whole story. This is deeply disturbing.

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