A computer screen cyberattack warning notice reportedly holding computer files to ransom, as part of a massive international cyberattack, at an office in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday June 27, 2017. (Oleg Reshetnyak via AP)
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Ethiopia's government has been increasingly on the defensive since the country's two largest ethnic groups, the Oromos and Amharas, began protesting in 2015 .To counter that, researchers and a lawyer who spoke to AFP say Ethiopia has ramped up the use of computer spyware, as well as employing traditional physical surveillance, going so far as to potentially stalk dissidents on U.S. soil.Many are among the quarter of a million-strong Ethiopian community in the U.S., believed to be the largest population outside the country.Citizen Lab found evidence linking the spyware to a command server in Ethiopia showing that 43 electronic devices had been successfully infected, several of which they linked to Eritrea, Ethiopia's onetime territory that is now a bitter enemy.In 2014 one U.S.-based dissident whose computer had been infected sued Ethiopia in a Washington federal court, under the pseudonym Kidane. That case ended earlier this year, when the court ruled Ethiopia wasn't liable because the hacking took place outside the U.S.Cutting edge spyware isn't the only tool Ethiopia deploys against opponents in the United States, activists believe.
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