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submitted 2 months ago by [email protected] to c/privacy
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[-] [email protected] 3 points 2 months ago

This is the best summary I could come up with:


But the KST’s lax security protocols appear to have accidentally doxxed up to 8,000 people, including activists, sexual assault survivors, United Nations staff, Congolese government officials, local journalists, and victims of attacks, an Intercept analysis found.

Hundreds of documents — including 165 spreadsheets — that were on a public server contained the names, locations, phone numbers, and organizational affiliations of those sources, as well as sensitive information about some 17,000 “security incidents,” such as mass killings, torture, and attacks on peaceful protesters.

“This was a serious violation of research ethics and privacy by KST and its sponsoring organizations,” said Daniel Fahey, former coordinator of the United Nations Security Council’s Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after he was told about the error.

“If you’re an NGO working in conflict zones with high-risk individuals and you’re not managing their data right, you’re putting the very people that you are trying to protect at risk of death,” said Adrien Ogée, the chief operations officer at the CyberPeace Institute, which provides cybersecurity assistance and threat detection and analysis to humanitarian nongovernmental organizations.

The spreadsheets, along with the main KST website, were taken offline on October 28, after investigative journalist Robert Flummerfelt, one of the authors of this story, discovered the leak and informed Human Rights Watch and New York University’s Center on International Cooperation.

Given the lawlessness and insecurity of eastern Congo, the most vulnerable individuals — members of local civil society organizations, activists, and residents living in conflict areas — are at risk of arrest, kidnapping, sexual assault, or death at the hands of these groups.


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this post was submitted on 04 Dec 2023
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