Linode - favoured plaform for espionage infrastructure

"Hacking Team" (http://www.hackingteam.it‎ - site has been offline due to Anonymous DDosing them) are an Italian company who indiscriminately provide intrusive surveillance software.

citizenlab (https://citizenlab.org/about) have been doing some awesome work unveiling the commercial surveillance industry. In their latest post they have found that Linode are a favoured platform for hosting Hacking Teams Remote Control Systems what with 80 servers being discovered.

Read the full report: https://citizenlab.org/2014/02/hacking-teams-us-nexus/

This must be a violation of Linodes terms and services and maybe even a liability for them. Do Linode in any way support the surveillance industry? Are they willing to do the right thing and take an active stance against such intrusive technologies being used without any regulation or oversight?

I would like to see some corporate social responsibility taken by Linode on this matter, so dear Linode please investigate and cancel the offending accounts.

6 Replies

We respond to any and all reports sent to [email protected], as per the relevant RFC.

  • Les

Meh - gotta say I don't really care.

Spying has been going on since the beginning of time. The only thing that has changed since Snowden is that now everyone knows it instead of just a handful of tinfoil hat geeks. And like everything else, spying has gone high tech (aka "theres an app for that") and is on the web.

Reminds me of a scifi book I read a long time ago (can't remember the title or author), it's about a group of scientists that were trying to invent space travel or a weapon or something, and instead discover a way of watching (aka spying) on anyplace on the planet, no matter where or what type of shielding. The book then goes on to how it changes society (and mankind). Hopefully someone here knows which book I'm talking about - I'd like to read it again.

Since the report redacts the last octet of any still-active IP address, it is essentially useless for the Linode abuse team.

@vonskippy:

Meh - gotta say I don't really care.

Spying has been going on since the beginning of time. The only thing that has changed since Snowden is that now everyone knows it instead of just a handful of tinfoil hat geeks. And like everything else, spying has gone high tech (aka "theres an app for that") and is on the web.

Reminds me of a scifi book I read a long time ago (can't remember the title or author), it's about a group of scientists that were trying to invent space travel or a weapon or something, and instead discover a way of watching (aka spying) on anyplace on the planet, no matter where or what type of shielding. The book then goes on to how it changes society (and mankind). Hopefully someone here knows which book I'm talking about - I'd like to read it again.

You're thinking of "The Dead Past" by Isaac Asimov, a short story first published in the April 1956 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. It's quite a good story.

> Meh - gotta say I don't really care.

Sufficiently advanced apathy is indistinguishable from malevolence.

In this case it is more than simply 'just spying'. This software is being used to target journalists, human rights groups and political dissidents who are working towards a better world.

From the report:
> Our analysis traces these proxy chains, and finds that US-based servers appear to assist the governments of Azerbaijan, Colombia, Ethiopia, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Thailand, Uzbekistan, and the United Arab Emirates in their espionage and/or law enforcement operations. Azerbaijan, Ethiopia, and Uzbekistan receive the lowest ranking, “authoritarian,” in The Economist’s 2012 Democracy Index

For some of these people in some places this is literally a matter of life and death.

Is it illegal? Report it to abuse. Linode serves a huge number of customers, the vast majority of them signed up and got service in a completely automated fashion. It's unrealistic to expect them to be intimately familiar with the situation of every customer.

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