Back in July, a hacker dumped the emails and other files from Hacking Team, Italy's notorious cyber-arms dealer. Coincidentally, Vice had recently filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI, asking if they were buying cyberweapons from Hacking Team.
The dump confirmed that the FBI had spent nearly a million dollars on Hacking Team's "products." The FBI, meanwhile, has finally responded to the FOIA request, stating that they can neither confirm nor deny what everyone now knows: that they bought cyberweapons from sleazy arms-dealers, and used them to attack people in America.
The leak contains the receipts issued by Hacking Team, through its US-based reseller Cicom USA, to the FBI for the sale of the spyware suite RCS. Files titled “Receipt Cicom USA x FBI” detail exactly how much the FBI spent on the company’s spyware since 2011 (more than $775,000). And despite the fact that Hacking Team’s CEO David Vincenzetti insisted that employees used the codename “PHOEBE” to refer to the FBI, many weren’t too careful.
“It’s hard to answer your question if I don’t know who Phoebe is,” wrote an Hacking Team executive to an account manager in 2012.
The manager responded: “FBI.”
And documents are littered with explicit references to the FBI, and a client list reveals who the code actually belongs to.
The FBI Won’t Confirm or Deny Buying Hacking Team Spyware, Even Though It Did
In a new paper in Progress, Oxford economist Vuk Vukovic argues that the key to re-election in local politics is to be just corrupt enough: giving lucrative contracts and other benefits to special interests who’ll fund your next campaign, but not so much that the people refuse to vote for you.
Xnet, a wonderful Spanish activist group, has created the Anti-Corruption Complaint Box, a whistleblowing platform for the city of Barcelona that allows people to file anonymous claims in a Globalleaks repository, with their anonymity protected by Tor.
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Whether I’m trying to relieve some stress at work or entertain myself on the metro, Space Putty is there. You can bring this magical goo home and try it for yourself for just $9.99Like Silly Putty of yesteryear, this viscoelastic substance can be molded into different shapes and stretched around in your hands. Use it […]
You know as well as I that writing complex, long-long form text requires significant organization. You’re probably also well aware that Word just isn’t up to the task. That’s why I’m a huge fan of Scrivener, the software suite used by best-selling authors and technical writers alike.Scrivener is much more than another digital typewriter. With a […]
Looking to upgrade your weekend? Here are three randomly awesome products on my mind this week.#3 FRESHeBUDS Pro Magnetic Bluetooth EarbudsAs more and more phones and gadgets switch to Bluetooth-only compatibility, you’ll need to get Bluetooth headphones like the rest of us. I’ve been super impressed with these affordable magnetic headphones. Pull the magnetic earbuds apart to auto-connect […]