Surveillance

NSO Ghana Op Exposed: Never Before Seen Pegasus Spyware Footage, Workers’ Passports

News Update |
TV report says NSO struck a shady deal with the Ghanaian government, which allegedly planned to use Pegasus to snoop on opposition figures ahead of a 2017 election.
The Ghanaian government purchased NSO’s Pegasus spyware in a shady deal that led to a probe by the West African country’s main intelligence agency, an Israeli investigative TV show revealed Wednesday. Although…

Zim Snooping on Citizens to Quash Dissenting Voices

News update |

AFRICAN governments, Zimbabwe included, are using sophisticated surveillance equipment to snoop on citizens and to quash dissenting voices.

This is contained in a report compiled by the International Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa CIPESA — an ICT research watchdog founded in 2004.

The report confirmed that Zimbabwe is using Israel spy technology which exploits loopholes in…

How Digital Espionage Tools Exacerbate Authoritarianism Across Africa

News update |

Earlier this year, an international reporting project based on a list of 50,000 phone numbers suspected of being compromised by the Pegasus spyware program revealed just how widespread digital espionage has become. Pegasus, which is built and managed by the Israeli firm NSO Group, turns mobile phones into surveillance tools by granting an attacker full access to a device’s data. It is among…

Joint Civil Society Statement: States Use of Digital Surveillance Technologies to Fight Pandemic Must Respect Human Rights

Joint Statement |

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global public health emergency that requires a coordinated and large-scale response by governments worldwide. However, States’ efforts to contain the virus must not be used as a cover to usher in a new era of greatly expanded systems of invasive digital surveillance.

We, the undersigned organizations, urge governments to show leadership in tackling the…

Open Source Investigations as Push Back Against Misinformation and Affronts to Human Rights Online

By Richard Ngamita |

In August 2018, a video of what appeared to be Ethiopian policemen assaulting a man by the roadside was shared on Twitter. There seems to have been a rapid response from the Addis Ababa Police Department (@Addispolice), leading to the arrest of the culprits due to the virality of the video.

The incident, is one of many which highlights…

CIPESA Submits Comments On The Uganda Data Protection and Privacy Bill, 2015

Official Submission |

Article 27 of Uganda’s constitution provides for citizens’ right to privacy, however, there is no law to protect an individual’s data privacy despite the large amounts of citizen data collected by government departments and private entities on a regular basis. More concerning, is that this data is collected with no guarantee of its protection and privacy.

Some existing legislation,…

Examining approaches to internet regulation in Ethiopia

By Halefom H. Abraha|

This article examines the current internet content regulatory regime in Ethiopia from the perspectives of the extensively discussed and broadly accepted regulatory models namely statutory regulation, self-regulation, and co-regulation.It argues that although statutory regulation has been a potentially useful tool of regulation in Ethiopia, self-regulation and co-regulation models appear to be neither practiced nor feasible in the…

Kenya: Big Brother could start tapping your calls, texts from next week

By Edwin Okoth |

From Tuesday, the government wants to be allowed to listen to your calls, read your text messages and review your mobile money transactions.

The government, through the Communications Authority of Kenya, has ordered mobile phone companies to allow it to tap their computers.

The tapping into these computers will be done by a company contracted by the agency.

Though the…

South Africa Bill Threatens Internet Freedom

South Africa’s Cybercrimes And Cybersecurity Bill (2014) has been met with apprehension among civil society due to its vague definitions, its limited safeguards for access to information and freedom of expression. In many ways, it resonates with the equally stifling Draft Online Regulation Policy gazetted in March 2015, which contains clauses that have the potential of blocking online content including as…

OpenNet Africa Challenge Uncovers Gaps in Digital Safety Tools

By Ashnah Kalemera |

There are numerous tools which can secure online users’ communications, including through anonymising their identities and enabling them to circumvent online surveillance and censorship. In some cases, developers have gone on to localise such tools to suit various contexts. However, the tools’ relevance to certain populations and how best to improve them for a diverse range of…