How Moammar Gadhafi's regime built a surveillance network called the Electric Army that captured all Internet traffic going in and out of Libya, and how dissidents fought back.
"Gwaider’s favored method, like that of Kevin Mitnick, the famous American hacker he admired, was “social engineering,” which meant tricking the victims into giving up access themselves. In Tawati’s case, all he had to do was send her a Word document infected with a Trojan, which installed malware on her computer when she opened it. At that point he had access to everything, including her Facebook account and her supposedly encrypted Skype conversations, which Gwaider siphoned off with malware that recorded all the audio on her machine. All of it eventually got posted to the Internet in an effort to smear her. The hacker even stole photos showing her without a head scarf—rather embarrassing in Libya’s conservative culture—and regime supporters then posted these to Facebook. Hala Misrati, the TV presenter who previously had broadcast some of her emails, now played audio from a Skype conversation she had with a foreign journalist, trumpeting it as proof of her collusion with outside forces. Tawati was devastated."
PUBLISHED: May 18, 2012
LENGTH: 25 minutes (6350 words)
A moment-by-moment reconstruction of last year's U.S. embassy attack in Kabul:
"In an image that remained strangely fixed in her mind afterward, Howell watched as he slowly peeled the skin off. As he was peeling off the very last bit, there came a heart-stopping screech and then the bang and shock of an impact. Something had just blown up in her waiting room, and though the thick glass had protected the office, they had all felt the concussion and could smell the acrid stench of burning.
"'That was an RPG!' one of her Afghan colleagues said as they scrambled to their feet. All Howell could think of was the other recent attacks in Kabul, where explosions had been a prelude to armed strangers coming in on foot and slaughtering anyone they could find. She called out to see if everyone was all right and then told her staff to evacuate. As they were moving toward the door, security officers came through, shouting, 'Let's go, let's go!'
"Howell glanced back at the glass that looked out on the waiting room, where the little girl had been playing before. There was just an opaque wall of smoke."
PUBLISHED: March 6, 2012
LENGTH: 31 minutes (7782 words)
While beatings in police custody have been common in Kandahar for as long as there have been police, a number of Afghan and international officials familiar with the situation there told me that Raziq has brought with him a new level of brutality. Since his arrival, Raziq has launched a wave of arrests across the city in coordination with the government intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security. One human-rights official who has conducted prison visits in Kandahar told me that the number of prisoners is up more than 50 percent since Raziq’s arrival.
PUBLISHED: Sept. 27, 2011
LENGTH: 22 minutes (5537 words)