Russia’s security forces used technology developed by the Israeli company Cellebrite to hack the cellphones of participants in the demonstrations in Moscow, ITV channel 12 reported, citing anonymous sources in Russia.
The channel cites comments made by Cellebrite representatives which emphasize that the company develops technology that enables law enforcement agencies to fight against terrorism and crime.
The company sells its product only to licensed legal entities, rigorously complying with other countries’ legislation.
According to numerous media outlets and bloggers, when dispersing the unsanctioned rallies in Moscow, Russian security forces confiscated many protesters’ mobile phones.
In March 2018 it was reported that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and Interior Ministry would be purchasing equipment from the Israeli company.
In March 2016, the Israeli news outlet Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Cellebrite had helped the FBI to extract information from the cellphone of a terrorist who opened fire in a conference hall in San Bernardino, killing 14 people and injuring 21.
Cellebrite is considered a global leader in the development of mobile applications for forensic investigations.
Two of the recent protests in Moscow were met with severe force from Russia’s law enforcement. Ironically, a member of the ruling United Russia party was also arrested.