Hacking Team Employee Threatens to Put a Hit on ACLU Technologist
Ashley Allen / 2 years ago
Hacking Team’s staff sound like a charming bunch, thanks to the hoard of internal e-mails that have been leaked – offering unethical malware services to US law enforcement, turning their noses up at human rights, and displaying outright contempt for activists, the latter of which being the subject of its latest controversy: threatening to have a member of the American Civil Liberties Union assassinated.
The ACLU’s Principal Technologist Christopher Soghoian stumbled upon a mention of his name in one of the leaked e-mails, written in Italian and dated 16th April. After passing the text through Google Translate, he discovered that he was named regarding a threat against his life.
— Christopher Soghoian (@csoghoian) July 9, 2015
The translated text reads:
I’m very tempted to respond, but we would only unleash hell. I think it’s self evident what a inbecile Soghoian is. If I could gather up enough Bitcoin I would use a service from the DarkNet and eliminate him. An asshole of this caliber doesn’t deserve to continue to consume oxygen.
Ironically, the same day the e-mail was sent, Hacking Team tweeted an article decrying Bitcoin, blaming it for helping obfuscate the identities of paedophiles:
— HackingTeam (@hackingteam) April 16, 2015
To which Soghoian responded:
@hackingteam Is the Ethiopian government using your malware to go after child porn or journalists?
— Christopher Soghoian (@csoghoian) April 16, 2015
It seems likely that this Twitter exchange motivated the e-mail assassination threat, regarding which Soghoian said, “This cheered me up. If they are making jokes like this, it means I am doing the right thing.”
Thank you The Intercept for providing us with this information.