Yesterday Reuters reported that a newly passed legislation will push the U.S. State Department to disclose how it polices the sale of cyber tools and services abroad. The news comes after Reuters journalists Christopher Bing and Joel Schectman revealed that American contractors assisted a foreign spying operation in the United Arab Emirates, helping the monarchy to crack down on internal dissent, in a series of investigations, “Project Raven.”
Bing and Schectman shared background on how the investigation came about:
“The story began with a tip from a source in the U.S. intelligence community’s contracting industry, who described how ex-National Security Agency analysts were returning home with disturbing stories about their contracting assignments in the United Arab Emirates.
Over the course of a year, we combed through a combination of social media profiles and contracting documents to find additional sources. We understood that any story about a secret espionage operation would require significant evidence. So, we pushed for as much detail as possible. A key discovery in the reporting project came when we found out the U.S. government had approved a foreign business contract to create Project Raven. The State Department provided licenses to three U.S. companies to help build the surveillance unit.
Because of our reporting, Congress included a new measure in the 2020 State Department spending bill that calls on the department to provide more information about how they police the spread of hacking skills abroad.”
Read the full news story here.
For Reuters special reports on Project Raven, click here: tinyurl.com/y9qnsbs4 and tinyurl.com/rc9ytrd
[Reuters PR Blog Post]
Deepal.Patadia @ thomsonreuters.com
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