Cybersurveillance Firm Altrnativ Supports Defense Giants, Human Rights Abusers
U.S. spy tech firm Anomaly 6 identified 100,000 separate smartphone users who visited N. Korea, Chinese threat actors targeted Amnesty Int'l, Bahraini activist sues NSO group, much more
Eric Leandri, the co-founder of the French search engine Qwant, was once heralded as a champion of digital privacy and an example of Europe's ability to compete with Silicon Valley but, after a downfall at Qwant, is now investigating the critics, rivals, and employees of some of the biggest brands in France, including giant defense and military contractors, through his new venture, a cyber-surveillance firm known as Altrnativ.
In the less than three years since the company was founded, Altrnativ has established itself as a purveyor of open-source intelligence or OSINT. A trove of around 4,000 documents includes product offers, invoices, and minutes from internal meetings at Altrnativ, combined with dozens of interviews, the show how a startup run by an entrepreneur with close ties to his country’s business and political establishment, was able to secure contracts with some of the most important companies in France, in some cases breaching Europe’s stringent General Data Protection Regu…
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