March 25, 2014

“They Know Everything We Do”

Telecom and Internet Surveillance in Ethiopia

To the Government of Ethiopia
To International Technology and Telecom Companies Serving Ethiopia
To the Governments of China, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Others
To the World Bank, African Development Bank, and other Donors
I. Background
Patterns of Repression and Government Control
Targets of Surveillance
Fears of Surveillance
Telecommunications and Media in Ethiopia
State Monopoly on Telecommunication Services
History of Telecommunications in Ethiopia
Institutions of Ethiopia’s Telecommunication and Surveillance Apparatus
History and Background on Communications Surveillance
II. Ethiopia’s Control over Information and Communications Technology
Ethiopia’s Growing Telephone Network: More Opportunities for Government Control?
“Brute Force” Confiscation
Unrestricted Access to Phone Call Recordings and Metadata
Targeting Foreign Communications
Live Interception of Phone Communication
Restricting Access to Phone Network
Network Shutdowns
Geotracking of Individual Locations
Controlling the Internet
Internet Filtering
Internet Filtering Roles and Responsibilities
Email Monitoring and Forced Password Disclosure
Restricting Access to the Internet
Internet Cafes: Rules for Cafe Operators
Pressure to Censor: Threats to Bloggers and Facebook Users
Major Internet Companies in Ethiopia: Transparency Reports
New Technologies and Their Potential: Intrusive Malware
Other Surveillance Technologies
Jamming of Radio and Television Signals
III. Legal Context
International Law
Freedom of Expression
Right to Privacy
Responsibilities of Companies
Ethiopian Law
Freedom of Expression and Access to Information
Right to Privacy
IV. The Future of Ethiopia’s Telecommunications Surveillance Capacity
Appendix 1: A Sampling of Blocked Websites in Ethiopia
Appendix 2: Correspondence
Correspondence with the Ethiopian Government
Correspondence with Businesses
Human Rights Watch Letter to Dr. Shiferaw Teklemariam, Minister of Federal Affairs,  Government of Ethiopia
Human Rights Watch Letter to Mr. Stéphane Richard, Orange
Letter from Ms. Brigitte Dumont, Orange to Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch Letter to Mr. Yves Nissim and Ms. Brigitte Dumont, Orange
Letter from Mr. Yves Nissim, Orange to Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch Letter to Mr. Eric Xu, Huawei
Letter from Mr. William Plummer, Huawei to Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch Letter to Sinovatio
Human Rights Watch Letter to Mr. Shi Lirong, ZTE
Human Rights Watch Letter to Mr. David Vincenzetti and Mr. Valeriano Bedeschi, Hacking Team
Email Response from Eric Rabe, Hacking Team to Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch Letter to Mr. Louthean Nelson and Mr. Martin J. Muench, Gamma International