• Please use real names.

    Greetings to all who have registered to OPF and those guests taking a look around. Please use real names. Registrations with fictitious names will not be processed. REAL NAMES ONLY will be processed

    Firstname Lastname

    Register

    We are a courteous and supportive community. No need to hide behind an alia. If you have a genuine need for privacy/secrecy then let me know!
  • Welcome to the new site. Here's a thread about the update where you can post your feedback, ask questions or spot those nasty bugs!

Warning! Beware of This: The story of Chloe (no photos).

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
Chloe is an investigative journalist working for an international broadcast service; we will call the TV show she works for The Inquirer. She travels around the world to work with local journalists on uncovering stories that make the headlines: from human trafficking to drug cartels and government corruption. While her documentaries are watched by many and inspire change in the countries she works in, you would not know who Chloe is if we were to tell you her real name. That is because Chloe works hard to protect her anonymity.

Chloe does not appear on screen and has a very restricted use of social media. No one would know from searching her name that she works for The Inquirer. She values this anonymity, which allows her to approach sources without raising suspicions or concerns. When necessary, it also allows her to engage in undercover reporting.

In February 2019, Chloe travels to a country in West Africa. She expects to be there for a while and knows she will have to return many times over the course of the year. She needs to gain the trust of several sources who are in extremely vulnerable positions.

Upon arriving in the country, Chloe buys a local SIM card. She will be using this to communicate with her sources. She has carefully considered her threat model and she knows that, in this particular case, the people she is investigating are not state actors and have no tech resources. She is therefore reassured she does not need to worry about state surveillance of her communications.

Chloe starts working. She makes phone calls to her sources telling them clearly who she is, who she works for and what she is trying to achieve. One day, Chloe needs to meet with a source. She uses her local phone to order a cab from a cab company. Her number is shared with the driver, who calls her to confirm he has arrived. When she enters the cab, the driver greets her “So… you work for The Inquirer?”

The driver points at his phone. Her number is registered on the driver’s phone as “Chloe The Inquirer Journalist.” Chloe takes a picture of the phone, leaves the car and calls the information security team at The Inquirer to try and find out what has happened and how she has been exposed.

Do you want to know the end of the story and how Chloe was uncovered? The original article is at privacy international.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Jerome,

I am frightened that it will be that an Israeli tech company might have sold the tracking software to the Nigerian Government!

I am glad she got out of the cab safely. In my experience one would expect to have to pay a bribe to him and several police or soldiers as well!

This is routine!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Jerome,

I was concerned as some tracking software has been alleged to be part of the Istanbul Embassy butchery of a journalist. Israel shouldn’t allow that to be exported so freely! But here we have another horrid example and I do not feel relieved that it’s not from Israel. States like Sweden and Israel have deep knowledge of the rights of individuals and the standards we expect.

We must be ashamed at our weakness in standing up to those who threaten the safety of the “eyes and ears” of free, representative societies!

Thanks for alerting us to this!

Asher
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
I am frightened that it will be that an Israeli tech company might have sold the tracking software to the Nigerian Government!
There was no tracking software involved, just people like you and me using an app designed to replace the phone book. From the remaining of the article cited:

Chloe’s story is not one of mass state surveillance or a targeted attack. Chloe’s story reveals the much more pernicious way the apps we cherish can endanger not only us but those around us who may be in vulnerable situations. In fact, Chloe was betrayed by an app she had never even heard of: TrueCaller.

TrueCaller is an app particularly popular in India (the app’s biggest market and the company’s headquarters) and Sub-Saharan Africa. TrueCaller identifies the numbers calling you, so you can filter out undesirable phone calls and make sure you pick up a call you have been expecting, even if you have not previously registered the number. Every time a user makes or receives a phone call from a number not already in the TrueCaller database, TrueCaller offers the user the option to “tag” the number so it can be entered in the TrueCaller database, under the name entered by the user.

What happened to Chloe is that one of her sources was using TrueCaller. She called her source and after they hung up, TrueCaller offered the source the option to tag Chloe’s number, since the number was not in their database. The source did not see the potential for harm and tagged Chloe’s number as “Chloe The Inquirer Journalist.” Now every time Chloe makes a phone call using that phone number, her name appears to TrueCaller users, like the cab driver, as “Chloe The Inquirer Journalist.”
 
Top