Infotech “With a simple software, it had almost infinite power over my life”: domestic violence in the age of cyber espionage

“With a simple software, it had almost infinite power over my life”: domestic violence in the age of cyber espionage




“It was a heterogeneous form of violence and harassment, facilitated by computerstells us Emmanuelle (the first name has been changed). We had been in a conflicted relationship for four years, I tried to leave several times after becoming pregnant – without success, he was a manipulator. Last November, we separated. I was just starting to see someone when he came to my place of work, where I was alone, he insulted me violently and hit me. He then admitted to me that he had seen my messages thanks to software installed earlier on my computer – which is synchronized with my phone. This violence coming from all sides plunged me into a climate of terror. »

Stunned, Emmanuelle first lodged a complaint, before having the extent of the espionage assessed by experts from the Swiss company ZENData. Verdict: at least 1 GB of data was copied by software called “TheOneSpy”, without knowing what exactly.

This type of program (referred to as stalkerware, “surveillance software”) allows you to geolocate the device in real time, listen to calls, read all messages (SMS, encrypted applications, social networks, etc.), view photos and videos, turn on the microphone and the camera, copy entered passwords, monitor internet browsing, etc. In short, extensive cyber-surveillance on the same level as that provided by the Pegasus snitch, purchased by spies at the end of the day.

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