Newest market for western tech firms: Dictators who want to spy on dissidents

Amid the scattered papers, interrogation devices and random furniture found during the raid, the activists uncovered a proposed contract dated June 29 from the British company Gamma International that promised to provide access to Gmail, Skype, Hotmail and Yahoo conversations and exchanges on computers targeted by the Interior Ministry of ousted President Hosni Mubarak…

The Egyptian activists that found the FinFisher proposal also found transcripts of encrypted Skype chats between dissidents in the abandoned security ministry. Skype is a video telephone system.

“I have seen my Gmails and Skype chats printed out in transcripts from the headquarters the day we went into those offices,” said Sherif Mansour, senior program officer for Freedom House who worked on the organization’s Egypt program.

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