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19 Aug 2015

John Leyden, in The Register (UK)

Leaked emails reveal Hacking Team sold surveillance technology despite concerns about Ethiopian govt.'s abuse of dissidents; includes company comments

“Ogaden: Italian Company Found to Have Trained EPRDF Internet Surveillance Forces”

Hacking Team failed to take effective action to investigate or stop reported abuses of its technology by the Ethiopian government against dissidents, according to Human Rights Watch.

A review of internal company emails leaked as part of a highly-publicised breach against the controversial spyware-for-government firm in July revealed that the company continued to train Ethiopian intelligence agents to hack – and even negotiated additional contracts, despite multiple reports that its services were being used to target government critics and expatriate journalists…

Hacking Team spokesman Eric Rabe told The Register: "Hacking Team investigated allegations of misuse of company technology and ultimately broke off all business relationships with Ethiopia. Ethiopia is not a client today, and Hacking Team has made no application (under new regulations that went into effect earlier this year in Italy) to provide any services to any Ethiopian entity whatsoever."