dear nettimers,

most of you may have heard of the "Hacking Team" scandal
which is now even among the wikileaks hall-of-fame.

I feel like sharing some thoughts on this.  But first a disclaimer: I am
a bit of an Italian, just like HT, the sort of Italian that will never
really get in business without someone that knows how to make business,
I mean big moneyz.

It is since 2014 now that HT is bashed by human rights and cyber rights
activists because of their conduct, allegedly exporting for rather big
bucks military-grade espionage software tools to places that are under
UN embargo like Sudan or helping Saudi Arabia's conservative thugs to
beat up activists

This is quite outrageous and I believe activists are right in
complaining that this happens, but I believe they are not right when
they focus the blame on the HT small software development company.

I say this because I believe that HT would have never become what it was
and would have never sold to the regimes it sold to without the
partnership of *very big* business players, whom I believe are the main
responsible for the crimes committed, since they clearly knew what was
happening. These big partners were driven by profit much more than those
HT hackers were driven by passion for security research and they were
crucial in helping such a young startup to scale and outreach well
beyond kosherness.

Today an article gives a glimpes on the scope of this racket
but still omits the venture capitals in the list.

My point is that we should be now really careful before going berserk
and blaming a rather small team of software developers for all this.
Because their business would have never had such a big success without
the profit-driven capital that really made it happen and shop around.

This affair is really about the military-industrial complex showing
itself in the cyber-war era: this is how the monster that Eisenhower
spotted back acts today on software matters.

I must also say that all this time I was really surprised that, while
some activists have been quickly rushing for the large picture when
there was to blame a state's public sector (as in NSA espionage etc.)
now are not well capable (or interested?) to look at the large picture
for this enormous private sector f*ckup. Perhaps they still need these
VCs to be around in Silicon Valley?

BTW if you do not yet believe how enormous that is, wait and see what
this BGP routing story leads to in a short while


Denis "Jaromil" Roio, Think (& Do) Tank
We are free to share code and we code to share freedom
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