3 Refugees Say They've Been Hacked by Bahrain
They thought they'd found refuge in Britain.
Then they got hacked.
On Monday three Arab pro-democracy activists went public with the allegation that the electronic tentacles of Bahrain's government had followed them all the way to Britain. It's one of a growing number of cases in which refugees say repressive governments have used malicious software to keep tabs on overseas activists.
"I thought I was safe here in Britain, but the Bahraini government is monitoring me here," Moosa Abd-Ali Ali said in comments carried by London-based Privacy International, which is filing a criminal complaint on behalf of him and two other activists, Jaafar Al Hasabi and Saeed Al-Shehabi.
The complaint, which draws on documents recently leaked to the Internet, alleges that Bahrain's government deployed FinFisher, a powerful espionage program, to break into their computers beginning in 2010 or even earlier.
Bahrain, a tiny island nation ruled by a Sunni Muslim monarchy, has since been rocked by unrest spearheaded by the country's Shiite majority, who are trying to pry greater rights from the royal family. Researchers and journalists have long documented the kingdom's interest in surveillance technology.