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AP Exclusive: Colombia 'panic buttons' expose activists

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AP Exclusive: Colombia 'panic buttons' expose activists

It is supposed to help protect human-rights activists, labor organizers and journalists working in risky environments, but a GPS-enabled "panic button" that Colombia's government has issued to about 400 people could be exposing them to more peril. The pocket-sized devices are designed to notify authorities in the event of an attack or attempted kidnapping. But the Associated Press, with an independent security audit , uncovered technical flaws that could let hostile parties disable them, eavesdrop on conversations and track users' movements. There is no evidence the vulnerabilities have been exploited, but security experts are alarmed. "This is negligent in the extreme," said Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity at the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation, calling the finding "a tremendous security failure."

Monday, March 27, 2017
Associated Press

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