Bahraini arrested for tweeting, with help of British spyware

This video from Britain is called Bahraini Activist Hails Ruling on HMRC Over Spyware Export.

From Bahrain Watch:

Two years before airport arrest, @Takrooz was favorite target of #Bahrain Cyber Crime Unit

Posted June 19, 2014 by & filed under Spy Watch

On Wednesday, news broke that prolific anti-government Tweep @Takrooz was arrested by authorities upon his return to Bahrain.  His Twitter account, with nearly 18,000 followers and 100,000 tweets, became unavailable after his arrest. Police charged @Takrooz with “inciting hatred against the regime” for his social media activity.  He was beloved by many for his cowboy persona and salty humor.

takroozFor several years, @Takrooz represented himself online with this picture of the Marlboro Man.

Last year, Bahrain Watch revealed that dissidents who apparently clicked on links sent by Bahrain’s Cyber Crime Unit were sentenced to jail for “insulting the King.”  @Takrooz was a favorite target of the Cyber Crime Unit; the Unit sent him at least 24 malicious links that were publicly visible.  We suspect that the Unit sent him further malicious links through private messages.

Most of the links that the Cyber Crime Unit sent to @Takrooz were so-called “IP Spy” links, designed to identify the IP address of a user who clicks on the link.  However, one link was to a file created by the Unit, called “DownAlkhalifa.docx.”  The file is hosted on MediaFire, but cannot be downloaded anymore as it is set to “private.”  Bahrain Watch previously exposed how Bahrain’s government uses such documents to hack activists’ computers, with the aid of a British/German company, now known as FinFisher GmbH.

downalkhalifaA picture of the suspicious file sent to @Takrooz using MediaFire

We have compiled twenty of the tweets that Cyber Crime Unit accounts sent to @Takrooz below.  Warning: the links in the Tweets are IP spy links!  Please do not open them from inside Bahrain, unless you are using a VPN or TOR Browser.

18 thoughts on “Bahraini arrested for tweeting, with help of British spyware

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