SOAS University of London

SOAS scholar speaks at London press conference on Ethiopia’s use of spyware

19 February 2014

The alleged use of computer software to spy on an Ethiopian political refugee in London has “extensive implications” for the Home Office, said Dr John Campbell, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at SOAS, University of London, at a press conference earlier this month.

The press conference - held by Privacy International, an organisation campaigning for the right to privacy - addressed Ethiopia’s use of surveillance among its political dissidents in London. The conference was in light of the organisation's recent call to the National Crime Agency to investigate the claim made by university lecturer Tadesse Kersmo who alleges he was the victim of espionage in the UK.

While Dr Campbell was not involved in preparing the case, the scholar was invited to provide information about Ethiopia. As reported in The Independent, at the conference Dr Campbell said: “… the FinSpy case had “extensive implications” for the Home Office and could lead to more asylum claims if political opponents were being subjected to computer espionage. He said that scores of Ethiopian political dissidents had been arrested since the 2005 national elections and that some had been given life sentences.”

The press conference was covered by the BBC, The Independent, Associated Press and Ethiopian Satellite Television.

View the full article in The Independent.