"His new job tasks him with defending a different endangered species: American national security journalists."


Tue, Jul 8th, 2014 12:51 by capnasty NEWS

Wired looks at 34-year-old Morgan Marquis-Boire, originally an elite security researcher for Google, now director of security for First Look Media, "the journalism startup founded by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras." His job, "hunting down the malware used to spy on vulnerable targets like human rights activists and political dissidents."

Marquis-Boire already has distinguished himself as a relentless counter-surveillance researcher and a vocal critic of the companies that have created an industry hawking spyware to governments. In 2012, he and researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab were the first to identify Finfisher, a stealthy collection of spying tools sold by the British firm Gamma Group that they eventually tracked to command-and-control servers in 25 countries. Later that year he helped trace how a piece of software sold by the Italian firm Hacking Team was used by the government of the United Arab Emirates to spy on a political dissident beaten by thugs. Just last month he revealed new findings that showed how that company’s tools have evolved to target iPhones, Android devices and other mobile targets. And in early 2013 Marquis-Boire and Citizen Lab researchers mapped the spread of surveillance and censorship tools sold by the Palo Alto, California firm Blue Coat to 61 countries, including Iran.

In the detective work required to pin those stealthy spying incidents on repressive governments and Western companies, Marquis-Boire is “extraordinarily talented,” says Ron Deibert, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto and Citizen Lab’s director. ”There are some people who are phenomenally adept at forensics, who have an intuitive sense of how to make connections through different pieces of evidence,” he says. “Morgan has those skills…But what I very much appreciate about him is his passion for human rights.”



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