Cellebrite

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Botswana police use Israeli Cellebrite tech to search another journalist’s phone

Tsaone Basimanebotlhe was not expecting security agents to appear at her home in a village outside Gaborone, Botswana’s capital, in July 2019, she told CPJ in a recent interview. But they didn’t come to arrest or charge her, she recalled – they came for her devices, hunting for the source for an article published by…

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Israeli lawyer Eitay Mack on bringing transparency to surveillance exports that threaten press freedom

“Many countries are using these technologies to put people in jail,” Israeli lawyer Eitay Mack told CPJ in a recent video interview. He was describing advanced surveillance capabilities, such as those that CPJ has documented being used to target journalists like Omar Radi and Maati Monjib, who were both jailed in Morocco in 2020.  Israeli companies like NSO Group and Cellebrite market equipment to…

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A man examines a large Cellebrite demo screen showing data analysis.

Equipped by US, Israeli firms, police in Botswana search phones for sources

Oratile Dikologang was naked when police officers pulled black plastic over his head during his detention in April 2020. It was difficult to breathe, but the interrogation continued, he told CPJ in a recent phone interview. “What are your sources, where do you get information,” he recalled them asking repeatedly. “It was the most painful…

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Ghana police officials receive technology

US, UK, Interpol give Ghana phone hacking tools, raising journalist concerns on safety and confidentiality

In May 2019, senior members of Ghana’s law enforcement posed for photos with the U.S. ambassador to their country at a ceremony in the capital, Accra. Between them they held boxes and bags, gifts from the U.S. government to Ghana which, according to one of the recipients, contained Israeli phone hacking technology. That recipient was…

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Hamza Idris (left), an editor with the Daily Trust newspaper, sits with colleague Hussaini Garba Mohammed in their office in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, in February 2019. The office was raided in January by the military, who seized 24 computers. (CPJ/Jonathan Rozen)

Nigerian military targeted journalists’ phones, computers with “forensic search” for sources

Hamza Idris, an editor with the Nigerian Daily Trust, was at the newspaper’s central office on January 6 when the military arrived looking for him. Soldiers with AK47s walked between the newsroom desks repeating his name, he told CPJ. It was the second raid on the paper that day; the first hit the bureau based…

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