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Somaliland Somtel Dahabshiil Scandal and Violation"Hacking and surveillance may undermine right to privacy"

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Sunday July 19, 2015 - 15:32:26 in Articles by Super Admin
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    Somaliland Somtel Dahabshiil Scandal and Violation"Hacking and surveillance may undermine right to privacy"

    Although I have been always suspicious of government surveillance, I have never expected a private telecommunication company will act as an agent of the government to seek hacking techniques on its behalf. In many occasions I have encountered with in

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Although I have been always suspicious of government surveillance, I have never expected a private telecommunication company will act as an agent of the government to seek hacking techniques on its behalf. In many occasions I have encountered with individuals complaining about their communication being intercepted.

 But without any proof, it has never become part of my priorities. Of course, there are always so many issues that make me busy in sorting out when it comes to human rights issues. From freedom of expression and illegal detentions to rights of women, Somaliland has many human rights problems human rights defender should worry about.

Recent revelation of Wikileaks shows Dahabshiil owned telecommunication company, Somtelcontacting with hacking group called HackingTeam to buy technology "designed to attack, infect and monitor target PCs and Smart-phones in a stealth way, including its location,” HachingTeam says in an email addressed to Somtel, as disclosed by Wikileaks . By further explaining the product, HackingTeam adds "once a target is infected, RCS allows you to access a variety of information, including: Skype traffic (VoIP, chat), keystrokes (all Unicode languages), mails, messages, target positioning, files, screenshots, microphone eavesdropped data, camera snapshots, etc.”

Neither the government nor Somtel has so far made any comment regarding the Wikileaks exposure.

Article 30 of Somaliland constitution reads as following; "no person’s private written communication, postal letters, or telecommunications shall be interfered with except in matters in which the law allows their investigation, tracing or listening in and a reasoned order from a judge has been obtained.”

Violation of a fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution of the country is a serious matter. What makes worse is the fact that private telecommunication company is aiding and abetting the government to violate the constitution. Moreover, Dahabshiil is also financial company. If it has such a deep connection with the government as far as acting as an agent for the state, the question is what sort of access the government has on the financial records of the people?

As noted above, this is not unique and isolated incident. I have observed many occasions telecommunication company (not necessarily Somtel) gave the authorities (specifically the law enforcement agencies) phone records without court warrant. In these events I witnessed the customers in question were neither informed nor asked consent.

It is imperative telecommunication companies to recognize and respect the fundamental freedoms and rights enshrined in the constitution of the Republic of Somaliland.

There should be an independent investigation to examine whether Somtel and the government acquired the technology and if used, the extent of the suffering of the privacy of the citizens. It is also imperative to explain the relationship between the government and Dahabshiil (Somtel).

This view is my own and I do not express in representing any entity.

Guleid Ahmed Jama

Human rights lawyer

Hargeisa Somaliland

Source: oodweynemedia.com


Today, 8 July 2015, WikiLeaks releases more than 1 million searchable emails from the Italian surveillance malware vendor Hacking Team, which first came under international scrutiny after WikiLeaks publication of the SpyFiles. These internal emails show the inner workings of the controversial global surveillance industry.

Search the Hacking Team Archive

RE: I: Somtel

Email-ID 435037
Date 2012-11-14 05:42:19 UTC
From [email protected]
To [email protected], [email protected]

Dear Massimilano,

 Thank you for the response . we play as security organization for the government , when they need any security we provide it to them.

Therefore I hope we will be able to sign the NDA and have trial of the RCS .

Thanks 

Ismail Dualeh

Chief Technical Officer-SOMTEL

T : +252 7 972 90 00 | M : +252 7 900 00 01

E : [email protected]

 

From: Massimiliano Luppi [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 1:14 PM
To: [email protected]
Cc: HT
Subject: R: I: Somtel

 

Dear Mr. Dualeh,

Many thanks for contacting us and for the interest in our technology.

RCS is designed to attack, infect and monitor target PCs and Smart-phones in a stealth way, including its location.

Once a target is infected, RCS allows you to access a variety of information, including:

Skype traffic (VoIP, chat), keystrokes (all Unicode languages), mails, messages, target positioning, files, screenshots, microphone eavesdropped data, camera snapshots, etc.

Supported PC platforms are: Windows XP/Vista/7 (32 & 64 bit) and Mac-OS.

The Smartphones' platforms are Windows Mobile, iPhone, Symbian, Blackberry and Android.

Would you mind having a look at the two RCS videos on our website?

http://www.hackingteam.it/index.php/remote-control-system

As you can imagine, our policy allows us to sell the product to Government, Law Enforcement and Security Organizations only.

Regarding your enquiry, please note that we do not provide geographical representation; our approach is to work side by side with a local partner (like you) on every specific deal.

This means that, if you have a potential business opportunity, we will give you protection on such client for 1 year.

Obviously, in order to understand, if we can move on, we need to know which agency we are talking about.

If everything is positive, we will proceed with the signature of our Non Disclosure Agreement and we’ll organize a meeting with the potential client.

Looking forward to receiving your reply.

Kindest Regards,

Massimiliano Luppi

Key Account Manager

 

HackingTeam

Milan Singapore Washington DC
www.hackingteam.com

 

mail: [email protected]

mobile: +39 3666539760

phone: +39 02 29060603

 

Da: Ismail Dualeh [mailto:[email protected]]
Inviato: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 01:22 PM
A: <[email protected]>
Oggetto: Somtel
 

Dear Marco,

hope all is well.

My name is ismail dualeh , i am the CTO for somtel , a telecom operator in somaliland . i have got your contact from hagai frenkel of NICE systems.
we have request from our government to check emails in case they suspect any users and we have advised them we can support them with  trojan horses therefore we need to add this capability our the network .we are currently  testing various solutions and we want to evaluate your solution as well.

looking to hear from you.

Ismail Dualeh
Chief Technical Officer
Somtel International
+25279000001

https://wikileaks.org/hackingteam/emails/emailid/435037

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