back to article How the Arab Spring blew the lid off the commercial spyware

When Middle Eastern governments fell in the Arab Spring uprisings, one of the side effects was that hard evidence of dodgy practices by commercial spyware vendors was made public. Unfortunately, the result is putting us all at risk. Documents uncovered when the Mubarak regime fell showed that the Egyptians had bought …

  1. veti Silver badge

    Timing?

    The Wassenaar Arrangement was amended in December 2013 (source), and we're only noticing this now? Has every security researcher been asleep for the past 18 months?

    1. Notas Badoff

      Re: Timing? Reading?

      "But the proposed rules have already chilled research efforts."

      They are moaning about the unintentional[citation needed] effects of the proposed changes to Wassenaar.

      The final text of laws after being expelled from legislative bodies often smell from the digestive processes involved. Sausage making is more transparent and has fewer harmful inclusions.

  2. Jonbays

    Blue Coat wasn't selling to Syria one of their distributors in UAE was actually. Stephan Link had to hand over $2.8 Million to the US Gov over that one. Should have been more careful before buying Fusion or any UAE company for that matter.

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    And if you stayed till the end of the closing credits...

    "As a result governments acted. The British government put restrictions on Gamma until they fled the country, the French acted against Amesys, and the US government has now amended the Wassenaar Arrangement to deal with the issue."

    And then they went and abraded Lybia and Syria to the stone age under the banner of "regime change/making the Middle East safe for Israel"

    THE END!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And if you stayed till the end of the closing credits...

      And then they went and abraded Lybia and Syria to the stone age under the banner of "regime change/making the Middle East safe for Israel"

      Well, actually they'd already done it to Libya (and Iraq, and Afghanistan). In Egypt of course, democracy produced the wrong result for the Yanks, so they supported a counter-coup and it's again governed by the army.

      What I don't think the article really highlights is the extent to which the western authorities weren't making these changes to support dissidents, but to try and protect their own ongoing surveillance programs, both domestic mass surveillance, and international mass and targeted surveillance. If the consequence of hiding their own dirty laundry allows criminal malware interests to flourish, at the expense of private and commercial misery, that's a price that the Five Spies Stasi are quite willing for the rest of us to pay.

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