Since 2014, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has been representing "Mr Kidane," an Ethiopian-born US citizen whose computer the Ethiopian government hacked while he was living in DC, in order to extract the identities of his contacts in Ethiopia and target them for violent human-rights-abusing reprisals over their democratic opposition to the country's ruling dictatorship.
The Ethiopian government doesn't deny that it hacked Mr Kidane using Finspy, a commercial law-enforcement tool sold by western companies to repressive governments around the world (Ethiopia doesn't have a very sophisticated domestic IT capacity, but it has purchased mass surveillance technology on the open market, making it "the world's first turnkey surveillance state").
EFF has filed a new brief in the case, asking the court to reject this theory.
If a foreign state’s agent had placed a recording device in Mr. Kidane’s home or on his telephone line, Mr. Kidane could indisputably sue the government in U.S. courts, said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Nate Cardozo. The fact that Ethiopia used software instead of a person to launch a wiretap attack against Kidane in no way allows the country to evade legal liability.
“Today, all governments have to do to illegally spy on people is purchase the right software,’’ said Cardozo. “The D.C. Circuit should recognize that the malware in this case took the place of a human spy, and reinstate Mr. Kidane’s lawsuit.”
“Giving Ethiopia immunity for state-sponsored hacking would strip away one of the few protections Americans have against cyberattacks by foreign powers,” said Scott Gilmore, counsel at Guernica 37. “The invasion of our client’s home, through his computer, could happen to any of us. We all should have the right to seek justice.”
EFF: American Illegally Wiretapped at Home by Ethiopian Government Deserves His Day in Court
Few states have voting machines that are simultaneously more obviously defective and more ardently defended by the state government than Georgia, where 16-year-old touchscreen systems are prone to reporting ballots cast by 243% of the eligible voters and where gross irregularities in election administration sends voters to the wrong polling places or sends co-habitating husbands […]
George Sink Sr. is well-known to South Carolina couch potatoes thanks to the endless rotation of ads pitching his personal injury firm. George Sink Jr. is his son, also a lawyer, and now forbidden from using his own name to market his own firm. A federal judge on Friday issued a temporary restraining order banning […]
The Duke Law and Technology Review has released a special edition dedicated to examining the legal and philosophical legacy of John Perry Barlow: co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation; junior lyricist for the Grateful Dead; biofuel entrepreneur; philosopher; poet; hacker Zelig; and driven, delightful weirdo.
It’s a great time to be a maker. 3D printers are on store shelves for anyone to buy, and coder kits like Arduino and Raspberry Pi are letting kids as young as 9 or 10 dive into the Internet of Things. Here are a few examples of our favorite tech toys, all priced low enough […]
Want to make a hit? The right software is out there for anyone, but any music producer will tell you that finding the right sound can still take time and talent. Still, the right tools are a great shortcut, which makes this Synth & Sound Pack Bundle absolutely priceless. And now that it’s on sale […]
Let’s face it: People at the gym aren’t bragging about their headphones. If they were that great, they’d be listening to them instead of talking about them. So while we’re sure those new PowerBeats Pro earbuds are something special, why would you shell out $250 for a tiny pair of speakers when comparable ones are […]