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Carta de @CitizenLab al @IFAIMexico sobre #finfisher

Carta de @CitizenLab al @IFAIMexico sobre #finfisher

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Ronald Deibert
Director, the Citizen Lab
and the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies
Munk School of Global Affairs
University of Toronto
Ronald Deibert
Director, the Citizen Lab
and the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies
Munk School of Global Affairs
University of Toronto

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Published by: Jesús Robles Maloof on Jul 05, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/09/2013

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Respected Authorities Instituto Federal de Acceso a la Información y Protección deDatosMéxico
July 4, 2013On June 21, a request for verification was submitted to the competent authorities inMexico. The requests file numbers are IFAI/SPDP/DGV/544/2013IFAI/SPDP/DGV/545/2013.The applicants based their request on findings published by the Citizen Lab, aninterdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, which I direct.As described in the attached document, The Citizen Lab is an academic institution,independent of government or corporate interests. We publish on the basis of evidence- based, carefully reviewed research. Our focus is the intersection of informationtechnology, global security, and human rights, which we investigate through technical, policy and legal research.In the publications which are the basis of the requests submitted before IFAI, there arereferences to a product called FinFisher, commercialized by the company GammaInternational.FinFisher is marketed as a powerful tool for accessing the computers of suspectedcriminals and terrorists secretly. In its promotional materials, the company describes thetools as providing a wide range of intrusion and monitoring capabilities.Once it has infected a device, FinFisher is typically undetected by anti-virus or anti-
spyware software. Some of FinFisher’s capabilities include stealing passwords from your 
computer, allowing access to your e-mail accounts; wiretapping your Skype calls; turningon your computer's camera and microphone to record conversations and video from theroom that you are in.
 
 
In 2012, while analyzing emails of Bahraini human rights defenders, Citizen Labresearchers found evidence that emails contained malicious software (malware) called
FinSpy, part of the FinFisher spyware tool kit. In a report titled “From Bahrain with
Love: FinFish
er’s Spy Kit Exposed?”
we identified and classified the malware to better understand the attacks and the risk to victims. In order to accomplish this, we undertook several different approaches during the investigation by computer scientists and other local experts. Since then, the Citizen Lab has published a number of reports on FinFisher,
such as “The SmartPhone Who Loved Me: FinFisher 
 
Goes Mobile?”, “Backdoors areForever: Hacking Team and the Targeting of Dissent?”, and “You Only Click Twice:FinFisher’s Global Proliferation.” Mexico is mentioned in two of these reports.
Our research suggests that FinFisher is being used for surveillance beyond suspectedcriminal activity and that there has been a global proliferation in the use of FinSpy. Weidentified active FinSpy command & control servers in Mexico. It is important to notethat the presence of a FinFisher Command & Control server in a country does not
necessarily imply that the country’s law enforcement, security, or intelligence services
are running the server. To answer such a question requires further investigations.As Director of the Citizen Lab, I encourage IFAI, according to its mandate, to open theverification process, requested by multiple human rights organizations. A verification bythe competent authorities will shed the light on the real deployment, use, outreach andresponsible actors on the allegedly used surveillance technology in Mexico, which might jeopardize the privacy and personal data of Mexican citizens.Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need more information about our investigation.Kind Regards,Ronald J. DeibertDirector, The Citizen Lab and Canada Centre for Global Security Studies
 
 
ABOUT THE CITIZEN LAB
The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk School of GlobalAffairs, University of Toronto. We have been conducting research and development; policy engagement; and capacity building activities since 2001.We are independent of government or corporate interests, and publish on the basis of evidence based, peer reviewed research. Our focus is the intersection of informationtechnology, global security, and human rights, which we investigate through technical, policy and legal research.
Financial support for the Citizen Lab’s research and deve
lopment has come from theFord Foundation, the Open Society Institute, the Social Sciences and HumanitiesResearch Council of Canada, the International Development Research Centre, TheCanada Centre for Global Security Studies, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Donner Canadian Foundation, and the Walter and Duncan GordonFoundation.We undertake three activities:
Research
: Our research has uncovered global cyber espionage networks, documentedInternet censorship and surveillance around the world, and exposed companies sellingfiltering and surveillance products to authoritarian regimes.
Policy engagement
: Our research informs civil society organizations, governments,international organizations, and the private sector on best practices and current trends inInternet security and governance, and engage them in multi-stakeholder dialogue.
Capacity building
: We contribute to capacity building by supporting networks of researchers, advocates, and practitioners from the global South.

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