Citizen Lab

15 results arranged by date

Government Technology Agency staff demonstrate Singapore's new contact-tracing smartphone app called TraceTogether, as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus on March 20, 2020. Bill Marczak, an expert in cellphone surveillance technology, told CPJ about the implications for journalists as governments ramp up their capacity to monitor citizens in a time of crisis. (AFP/Catherine Lai)

Expert Bill Marczak: What journalists should know about coronavirus cellphone tracking

Governments all over the world have been considering cellphone surveillance to help track and contain the spread of the coronavirus.

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A screen shows a CCTV state media broadcast of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Wuhan at a shopping centre in Beijing on March 10, 2020. Researchers at Citizen Lab have documented Chinese platforms censoring keywords related to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. (Reuters/Thomas Peter)

Q&A: Citizen Lab documents Chinese censorship of coronavirus keywords

Li Wenliang, a doctor in Wuhan who was reprimanded for warning colleagues of a new coronavirus earlier this year, used the messaging app WeChat to share his concerns on December 30, 2019, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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A man reads at a stand of the Israeli technology firm NSO Group at the annual European Police Congress in Berlin, Germany, February 4, 2020. WhatsApp has alleged the group's technology enabled the remote surveillance of members of civil society via their phones, with several Indian journalists among the targets. (Reuters/Hannibal Hanschke)

After WhatsApp spyware allegations, Indian journalists demand government transparency

In the summer of 2019, Saroj Giri was preparing a lecture on the panopticon—an 18th century system to surveil an entire prison from a single viewpoint—when a message lit up his phone. It was from WhatsApp, warning Giri that someone had tried to hack the popular messaging app to spy on his cell phone remotely.

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Maati Monjib, right, chats with Moroccan journalist Hicham Mansouri in Rabat, Morocco, January 17, 2016. Amnesty International reported this month that Monjib has been sent malicious messages in an attempt to install spyware on his phone. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

Q&A: Moroccan press freedom advocate and NSO Group spyware target Maati Monjib

Pegasus, the cellphone spyware tool sold by the Israeli firm NSO Group, is one of the most powerful surveillance systems governments can buy, experts say. Researchers who study it have detected “45 countries where Pegasus operators may be conducting surveillance operations,” and detailed its capabilities: whoever tricks the target into clicking on a link that…

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A visitor walks past company exhibition stands at the Cybertech 2019 conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, on January 29, 2019. Reuters reported on August 22, 2019, that Israel has eased export controls on surveillance technologies. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

Israel eased export controls on surveillance technologies amid criticism

New York, August 22, 2019–Israeli officials confirmed that, under a rule change by the Defense Ministry, Israeli surveillance companies are able to obtain exemptions on marketing license for the sale of some products to certain countries, Reuters reported today. It is not clear which companies, and which products, were impacted; however, Reuters reported that the…

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Moroccan investigative journalist Omar Radi, who at the time worked for the website Le Desk, the website's headquarters in Casablanca, Morocco, on September 18, 2015. Radi and other independent journalists told CPJ about a climate of pervasive surveillance and harassment in the country. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

Moroccan independent journalists describe climate of pervasive surveillance, harassment

In March 2015, Hicham Mansouri emailed an anti-malware company, suspicious of possible signs that someone was able to access his device remotely, without permission. He remembers exchanging a few messages with the software company, but the correspondence was interrupted after a few days, when around 10 police officers in civilian clothes arrived at his home…

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A screenshot of MCCI coverage of the May 6 cyberattack on their website.

Mexican anti-corruption news website MCCI hit with cyberattack

New York, May 10, 2019–The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned a cyberattack on Mexicanos Contra La Corrupción y Impunidad (MCCI), a Mexican nonprofit news outlet that publishes in-depth investigations into corruption in Mexico and Latin America.

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A woman uses her iPhone in front of the building housing NSO Group on August 28, 2016, in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv, Israel. The company has come under increased scrutiny for the alleged use of its spyware tool, Pegasus, to target journalists. (AFP/Jack Guez)

NSO Group responds to spyware abuse allegations with spin

Entering the terms “NSO Group,” “journalists,” and “spying” into a Google search from a workstation in New York City recently produced a sponsored search result at the top of the page. The NSO Group manufactures some of the world’s most sophisticated and high-profile spyware, and its sponsored link invites readers to a slick website touting…

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An Egyptian uses his phone to record the aftermath of a deadly explosion outside a police headquarters in December 2013. Journalists who use smartphones and messaging apps in their reporting say they are wary of surveillance and trolling under Egypt's press crackdown continues. (AP/Ahmed Ashraf)

How surveillance, trolls, and fear of arrest affect Egypt’s journalists

As Egypt’s crackdown on the press extends to social media and other communication platforms, many journalists say phishing attempts, trolling, software to monitor social media posts, and a draft law that would require registration for social media users are making them think twice before covering sensitive issues.

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Hacking Team leak underscores complexity of regulating software

Among the 400 gigabytes of internal documents belonging to surveillance firm Hacking Team that were released online this week are details of the company’s dealings with some of the most oppressive governments in the world. The revelations, which have generated alarm among privacy, security, and human rights advocates, have also fueled debate around the esoteric…

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