3 - 9 March: Digital Rights Weekly Update


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How Israeli Cyber Weapons are Taking over Latin America (English)

Mint Press

In January, Salvadoran newspaper El Faro revealed that the country’s police have purchased three Israeli surveillance tools. Through the approximately $2.2 million contract, El Salavador’s police acquired the Wave Guard Tracer, from Wave Guard Technologies, designed to trace calls, text, and data, the GEOLOC system sold by an unknown Israeli firm, which intercepts signals between SIM cards and cellular towers in order to do physical surveillance, and Web Tangles, made by Cobwebs Technologies, which uses a person’s social media account to create an identity report. Israel is notorious for selling arms and cyber surveillance technologies to governments around the world, and Latin America is no exception. But in countries like Mexico, where government corruption is rampant, these Israeli exports become even more insidious.



Fake Friends: Leak Reveals Israeli Firms Turning Social Media Into Spy Tech (English)


Like most of the public, A., a former Israeli journalist, knows little to nothing about the OSINT industry. However, the OSINT system sold by an Israeli-owned cyber firm being revealed here for the first time knows a lot about her – and about all of us, too. Forbidden Stories, a non-profit dedicated to following up on the work of journalists who are killed or threatened for their reporting, found the firm and a brochure detailing their suite of digital surveillance tools in a trove of more than 500,000 documents belonging to the Military Forces of Colombia. They were leaked to Forbidden Stories by a collective of hackers known as Guacamaya and investigated as part of a global investigation involving different media outlets – among them Haaretz.



Seeing The World Like A Palestinian (English)


In May 2021, as Israeli forces launched an intense wave of airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip – resulting in 256 Palestinian casualties and tens of thousands injured – Google and Amazon Web Services (AWS) signed Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion contract to provide cloud services to the Israeli government and military. The two corporations would effectively provide the technological backbone of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories. Three data centres are already underway for this project. Amazon Web Services also provided the cloud platform for Pegasus spyware until the news on Pegasus Project broke, and continues to do so for the Blue Wolf app, which allows Israeli soldiers to capture images of Palestinians across the occupied West Bank and then matches them with military and intelligence databases.



Press House publishes a factsheet on Violations against Media Freedoms in Palestine (English)

Press House

The Legal Protection Unit for Journalists at Press House - Palestine (BAS) has published a factsheet on the violations against media freedoms in Palestine in February 2023. The factsheet highlighted violations committed against Palestinian journalists whether by Israeli Occupation, or Internal Palestinian entities, in addition to digital rights violations. The number of committed violations in February against Media Freedoms in Palestine reached (80), the Legal Protection Unit at Press House has documented (55) violations committed by Israeli Occupation representing (69%) out of total violations, (3) internal violations representing (4%) and  and (22) violations of digital rights representing (27%) distributed between (11) violations in the West Bank and (11) violations in the Gaza Strip.


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