Read at Electronic Frontier Foundation
Cyber mercenaries present a serious danger to human rights and freedom of expression. They have been linked to surveillance, torture, and murder of human rights defenders, politicians, and journalists. Investigating and exposing these companies is a key strategy in addressing this threat. Recently, there has been an attempt to suppress information about the mercenary hacking campaigns of Appin Technology and its co-founder, Rajat Khare. This campaign involves obtaining court orders to intimidate publishers into removing stories. Techdirt and MuckRock Foundation have challenged these orders and are awaiting a response.
One of the most effective ways that the human rights community pushes back against the threat of targeted surveillance and cyber mercenaries is to investigate and expose these companies and their owners and customers.
Appin Technology, an Indian company known for its information security education and training, has been accused of hacking-for-hire. An article by Reuters titled 'How an Indian Startup Hacked the World' details Appin's hacking operations. However, attempts have been made to suppress this information by misrepresenting court orders to force publishers to remove the stories. Techdirt and MuckRock Foundation are challenging these efforts.
But for the last several months, there has emerged a campaign of bullying and censorship seeking to wipe out stories about the mercenary hacking campaigns of a less well-known company, Appin Technology, in general, and the company's cofounder, Rajat Khare, in particular.