A public interest litigation case launched by Cyber Stewards Network partner Bytes For All (B4A) at the Lahore High Court has been met with obstacles during court proceedings.
B4A began the proceedings using research conducted by the Citizen Lab, documented in the report titled “For Their Eyes Only: The Commercialization of Digital Spying.” The research revealed the presence of FinFisher on the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) Network, the largest telecommunications provider in Pakistan. The court action by B4A alleged that the presence of FinFisher servers in Pakistan may violate constitutional rights against breaches of privacy, given the software’s ability to use trojans to access the information of users.
Despite a court order to look into the matter and produce a report in one month, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has repeatedly failed to do so. Six court hearings have been missed or cancelled by order. Questions remain as to who is using the FinFisher server in Pakistan, how it came to be implemented without public inquiry, and how much government funding has been employed for its purchase.
On August 31, Cyber Stewards Network partner Hisham Almiraat launched the Moroccan Digital Rights Association, or also known as Association des droits numériques (ADN) in French. Almiraat is also the director of Global Voices Advocacy, an international organization advocating for freedom of expression online.
For the next three years, the organization plans to focus their attention on privacy and surveillance issues. The next big item on the agenda is creating a national workshop to bring together all the stakeholders and set priorities for the short term.
The Moroccan Digital Rights Association is in partners with Privacy International (UK), Nawaat (Tunisia), Unwanted Witness (Uganda) and HRD Coalition (Kenya), and was started with the support from Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) (Sweden).
The organization can be followed on Twitter here and Facebook here.