How Ethiopia Spies on Its Diaspora Abroad

European companies sell surveillance technologies to abusive foreign regimes.

By FELIX HORNE | The Wall Street Journal

March 31, 2014 4:28 p.m. ET

Boys play with a cellphone as Bill Clinton tours an Ethiopian health center. Getty Images

Many Europeans are upset over revelations that the United States government spies on them. But European companies are selling surveillance tools and know-how to other governments, allowing them to spy abroad. Their customers include some of the world’s most abusive governments and at least one of them—Ethiopia—is targeting its diaspora population in Europe. The results extend beyond outrage over privacy violations: They put people in danger.

The global trade in this powerful “spyware” is virtually unregulated and that needs to change. Using digital technology to monitor the Ethiopian diaspora in Europe, the regime in Addis Ababa has brought its abuses right into Europe’s midst. The EU needs to regulate the sale of such technology, at least to governments with such questionable human-rights records. Read more…

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