Big NSA Funding Recipient, Ethiopia, Spies on Journalists in US

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 12.56.26 PMAlong with the release of his book today, Glenn Greenwald has released a stash of documents, many of them new. One of them PDF 39) shows how much funding NSA gives some of its international partners.

The amounts involved aren’t huge — even Pakistan, the leading recipient, gets just $2.5 million, and most recipients get far less.

But Ethiopia is third on the list, receiving somewhere around $450,000. Not a ton, but not chicken scratch, either. Presumably, much of that targets Somalia.

Still, I think it significant, given that Ethiopia is getting sued in the US for spying on journalists based in the US.

A Washington area man with ties to Ethiopia’s political opposition sued that country’s government in federal court Tuesday, alleging that agents had used powerful spyware to hack into his computer and snoop on his private communications for more than four months.

The suit says that forensics experts found more than 2,000 files related to a spyware program called FinSpy, including evidence that it had accessed the plaintiff’s Skype calls, e-mails and Web-browsing history in violation of U.S. wiretapping laws.

The case is the latest sign that the government of Ethi­o­pia, an American ally with a history of repressing political opponents, journalists and human rights activists, has used sophisticated Internet technology to monitor its perceived enemies, even when they are in other countries.

“The Ethio­pian government appears to be doing everything it can to spy on members of the diaspora, especially those in contact with opposition groups,” said Nate Cardozo, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group based in San Francisco that prepared the suit.

I imagine working closely with the NSA teaches you a lot about how better to target its dissidents overseas.

9 replies
  1. chronicle says:

    quote”I imagine working closely with the NSA teaches you a lot about how better to target its dissidents overseas. “unquote

    I imagine working closely with the NSA teaches you a lot about your pond scum genes, and how to try and hide your stench.

  2. chronicle says:

    quote”The amounts involved aren’t huge — even Pakistan, the leading recipient, gets just $2.5 million, and most recipients get far less.”unquote what parallel universe is a whopping $2.5 MILLION NOT HUGE?????????? FOR SPYING?????? MOREOVER….when and how did Congress hand over FUNDING authority to the NSA?????? Something fucking stinks here. And I’m going to find out which people in Congress have allowed this stinking bullshit to happen. This is a total, unadulterated ..COUP D’ETAT…..

    When the entire infrastructure of this nation is failing, funding for the senior SNAP program is causing hunger, when program after program for helping OUR CITIZENS are reduced to ZERO, extended unemployment is cut, etc etc…and these fucking assholes in the NSA are handed an unlimited check to pass out to the entire planet for SPYING.. this isn’t just wrong.. this is a GODDAMNED ABOMINATION !!!!! Coup d’etat indeed. We’ve been fucking bambooozled. And I’m fucking pisssed. Time to start calling a horse a horse..and do something about it. Fuck these bastards.

  3. chronicle says:

    We now interrupt your regularly scheduled comment section for breaking news….

    For those who haven’t seen or downloaded Glenn Greenwald’s latest trove of Snowden documents, I suggest you do. If for anything, to provide yourself with living proof the NSA has now completely captured the internet and everything they and Congress have said is a BALD FACED LIE. Thanks to scumbag Corporate traitors like Microsoft, we’ve been sold out..completely, unequivocally…sold out.

  4. chronicle says:

    I’ve now seen the ultimate definition of a psychopath. And it is every single person working for the NSA.

  5. john francis lee says:

    Funding and arming random malefactors with cyberarms is consistent with funding and arming random malefactors with ‘real’ arms … as in Libya, Syria, Ukraine …
    It is clear that the boys and girls … the children … running the USG are bent on destruction … anywhere and everywhere.
    It is up to us … we’re the only ones here … to take their access to arms away from them. They cannot be trusted … they can only be counted upon to make everything they touch worse than it was before they touched it.
    And to open all of us up to dangers and threats we would not be exposed to without their intervention.
    They are the diametric opposite of ‘security’ agencies.

  6. chronicle says:

    On a side note. LIARS of biblical proportions HAYDEN….

    So, the Intercept wants to hire a National Security Editor huh? They might want to steal someone from Frontline……

    Tonight, on PBS Frontline…

    “Tonight, in “United States of Secrets,” the first of a two-part look at how this country became such an out-of-control surveillance state, it calls out former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden as a liar’s liar”

    Hayden’s not alone, he’s just the most obvious liar in tonight’s Part One. And producer/director Michael Kirk is so skilled at building the kind of case he does against those who would shred democracy in the name of what they say is our necessary defense that Hayden is continually shown in an interview acting like he thinks he is getting over with his lies.

    Memo to Hayden :You’re not.’ ”,0,1396430.story

    Michael Hayden. A liars liar. On national TV.


    priceless. And that ain’t all. Watch Frontline tonight for the Michael Hayden downfall!!!!

  7. Concerned reader says:

    Ethiopean use of spyware aimed at targets in the UK has also been in the news recently. FinSpy was detected by Privacy International on the computer of activist and political refugee Tadesse Kersmo.

    Interestingly, Privacy International presented evidence to (in the form of HMRC, who should regulate this) that “Gamma International had illegally exported surveillance technology to governments with records of human rights abuse, such as Bahrain, Ethiopia, Egypt and Turkmenistan.”

    The PI campaign took a new turn on Monday when a judgement was given that HMRC had acted unlawfully in refusing to comment on the allegations:

    HMRC had committed a serious error in not providing information about whether it was investigating British company Gamma International for illegal exporting spyware to repressive regimes. Describing the actions of HMRC as “irrational” and “simply inconsistent with the legislation”, the judgment quashed HRMC’s decision and ordered it to again consider Privacy International’s request

    See for the full story and a lot of informative links

  8. anonymous says:

    Thanks for your work, awesome. I say – don’t support USA FREEDOM. Let’s draw battle lines and move to active resistance. Encryption and foreign disaffection will work against the domestic police state – that’s a clear victory that Snowden has enabled. Let’s not pretend that this political situation can produce a just result at this time in history. Let’s stand on principle and resist in every way possible as individuals.

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