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When Hacking Team thought The Intercept published « conjectures »

Thursday 16 July 2015 à 17:30

TI_Launch_02-article-headerTime is on our side… It is always interesting to look at what the marketing bullshit generator has generated in the past when a leak appears. On Oct. 30 of 2014, The Intercept published a story about Hacking Team. Hacking Team was not very happy and as always, would generate the same kind of marketing bullshit : « we don’t disclose who we sell to, but we have a strong customer policy and we can shut down any customer who would misuse our tools ».

The Intercept stated that Hacking Team had probably sold the Remote control System to Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Mexico or Oman, countries which may have a very personal view of what Human Rights respect should be.

Hacking Team sent a letter to The Intercept which was published by the newspaper at that time. Even if the infamous Eric Rabe thought The Intercept would not dare publishing the corporate « truth » .

Capture d’écran 2015-07-16 à 16.40.42

This letter is now part of the 400 Go leak in a mail sent by David Vincenzetti (HT’s CEO) to other members of the team.

Some parts of this letter look « funny » today :

Despite the headline, the “secret manuals” do not show that anything at all was “sold to despots” worldwide or elsewhere.  That remains the conjecture of the authors.

Let’s have a look at the Intercepts’ conjectures.

Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Mexico or Oman are all listed as clients :


Ethiopia is listed here as a client :

ethiopiaYou can read here (in french) our two papers about Ethiopia and the Citizen Lab report. These two papers will also enlighten the readers about how Hacking Team used to « shut down » clients who would use the tools against political opponents or journalists.

There is a huge difference between the corporate marketing speech and the reality. This we already knew… We just needed time to prove it.