US man sues Ethiopia for cyber snooping

Feb 18, 2014
The Skype internet phone program is seen in New York City, on September 1, 2009

A lawsuit filed on Tuesday accuses Ethiopia of infecting a US man's computer with "spyware" as part of a campaign to gather intelligence about those critical of the government.

"We have clear evidence of a foreign government secretly infiltrating an American's in America, listening to his calls and obtaining access to a wide swath of his private life," said attorney Nate Cardozo of Internet rights group Electronic Freedom Foundation.

"The current Ethiopian government has a well-documented history of against anyone it sees as ."

The computer of a US citizen living in the state of Maryland was targeted with that monitored use and snooped on calls made using Internet telephone service Skype, the suit charges.

The malware was slipped onto his machine when he opened an emailed document file booby-trapped with a program called FinSpy, according to the EFF.

Analysis of the computer showed that recordings of Skype calls and other data was sent to a server in Ethiopia controlled by the government there, the EFF charged.

The court was asked to let the plaintiff be identified by the pseudonym "Mr. Kidane" to protect members of his family here and abroad from reprisal.

"The problem of governments violating the privacy of their political opponents through digital surveillance is not isolated –- it's already big and growing bigger," said EFF legal director Cindy Cohn.

The complaint filed in in the US capital of Washington calls for a jury trial along with damages to be paid for violations of US law.

Explore further: Hackers sue German government over NSA spying

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hackers sue German government over NSA spying

Feb 03, 2014

A group of computer hackers and human rights campaigners in Germany announced Monday that they are suing their government for allegedly breaking the law by aiding foreign spies.

US Homeland Security sued for drone details

Oct 31, 2012

The Electronic Frontier Foundation said Wednesday it has sued the US Department of Homeland Security to obtain details about Predator drones on loan to domestic police departments.

Philippines' top court upholds 'cyber libel' law

Feb 18, 2014

The Philippines' top court ruled on Tuesday that a cybercrime law penalising online libel is constitutional, disappointing critics who argue it could curb Internet freedom in one of Asia's most freewheeling ...

Microsoft presses US on data request disclosures

Jul 16, 2013

Microsoft said Tuesday it had asked the US government for permission to disclose details of how it handles national security data requests, citing "inaccuracies" in recent media reports.

Recommended for you

Automakers aim to drive away car computer hackers

6 hours ago

Against the team of hackers, the poor car stood no chance. Meticulously overwhelming its computer networks, the hackers showed that—given time—they would be able to pop the trunk and start the windshield ...

Man pleads guilty in New York cybercrime case

Nov 22, 2014

A California man has pleaded guilty in New York City for his role marketing malware that federal authorities say infected more than a half-million computers worldwide.

How to keep the world's eyes out of your webcam

Nov 21, 2014

There are concerns that thousands of private webcams around the world could be streaming live images to anybody who wishes to view them – without their owner knowing – thanks to a Russian website provi ...

Britain urges Russia to shut down webcam spying site

Nov 20, 2014

A Russian website offering thousands of live feeds peering into bedrooms and offices around the world by accessing poorly secured webcams should be taken down immediately, British officials said on Thursday.

NSA Director: China can damage US power grid

Nov 20, 2014

China and "one or two" other countries are capable of mounting cyberattacks to shut down the electric grid in parts of the United States. That's according to Admiral Michael Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.