Monday, August 05, 2013

Bahrain Using Fake Twitter Accounts To Track Dissidents

Bahrain's latest way of tracking down dissidents and those critical of the monarchy: creating fake Twitter accounts of opposition leaders. It's essentially a form of entrapment. 

In Bahrain, all it takes is clicking on the wrong link to end up in jail. A new report prepared by Bahrain Watch, an activist organization critical of the ruling monarchy, details how the Bahraini government creates fake Twitter accounts to reveal the identity of anonymous anti-regime tweeps -- and then prosecutes them on the basis of "secret evidence."

Here's how it works. Dozens of shell accounts -- many designed to impersonate top figures within the Bahraini opposition -- have tweeted links to anonymous Twitter users who comment on Bahrain. The links include spyware that reveals the user's IP address, which the government can use to identify the name and street address of the person behind the account. From there, it's simple police work: The government can raid the house and build a case against those living there, usually on charges of "insulting the king." In total, Bahrain Watch found that more than 120 accounts were targeted by the government in this way.

More on this story.

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