US Court Blocks American from Suing Ethiopia Over Spyware Attack

Posted by at 9:01 am on March 15, 2017

An appeals court has barred an Ethiopian-born U.S. citizen from filing a civil suit against the African country, which allegedly infected his computer with spyware and monitored his communications.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Tuesday that foreign states are immune from suit in a U.S. court unless an exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) applies.

The person, who is referred to in court documents by the pseudonym Kidane, was born in Ethiopia and lived there for 30 years before seeking asylum in the U.S. He lives in Maryland.

The ruling could have far-reaching consequences as it would in effect deprive U.S. citizens of legal remedy if foreign states decide to hack their devices remotely, as long as the condition that most of the tort was done abroad is met.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is representing Kidane in the case, said Tuesday that the appeals court had held “that foreign governments are free to spy on, injure, or even kill Americans in their own homes–so long as they do so by remote control.”

In late 2012 or early 2013 Kidane’s family home computer was claimed to infected by sophisticated spyware, called FinSpy. The spyware then his keystrokes and Skype calls were claimed to be captured and then sent to a server controlled by the Ethiopian government, per the EFF.

Leave a Reply

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign up to receive breaking news
as well as receive other site updates

Enter your Email


Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Log in

Copyright © 2008 - 2020 · StreetCorner Media , LLC· All Rights Reserved ·