A Startup Allegedly ‘Hacked the World.’ Then Came the Censorship—and Now the Backlash

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Reuters complied, however, with the Indian court’s order on December 5, a little less than two weeks after publishing their investigation into Appin Technology. Remove its story. After receiving legal threats based upon the same injunction, other websites began to remove their own articles about Appin Technology. SentinelOne was the cybersecurity firm which had assisted Reuters with its investigation. removed its research on an Appin Technology subsidiary’s alleged hackingThe Internet Archive removed the article from its site. The Internet Archive removed its copy of the Reuters’ article. The article was analysed by both the legal news site Lawfare, and the cybersecurity podcast Risky Biz. took its podcast episode downLawfare Appin Technology was referred to in every section of the article.. WIRED also removed a summary from Reuters’ article. news roundupAfter receiving the threat from Appin Training Centers

Rajat Khare, the co-founder of Appin Training Centers, has sent separate legal threats to a group of news outlets in response to a court order that he obtained in Switzerland. Two Swiss publications have publicly noted that they responded to court orders by removing Khare’s name from stories about alleged hacking. Others have removed Khare’s name or removed the articles altogether without a public explanation, including the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the UK’s Sunday TimesThere are eight Indian news outlets in addition to several Swiss and French media outlets.

“This is an organization throwing everything against the wall, trying to make as many allegations in as many venues as possible in the hopes that something, somewhere sticks,” says one person at a media outlet that has received multiple legal threats from people connected to Appin Technology, who declined to be named due to the legal risks of speaking out. “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Unfortunately, in India, it’s worked.”

Some had already started to resist this censorship before the EFF and Techdirt, MuckRock and DDoSecrets started to push back. The New YorkerIn a recent article, for instance, Rajat Khare and Appin Technology had been mentioned as a subsidiary. Feature on India’s Hacker-for-Hire IndustryIn June last year. Appin Training Centers has sued it, but the piece is still online. (The New Yorker and WIRED are both published by Condé Nast.) Ronald Deibert is a well-known security expert and founder of Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, a group which focuses on exposing hacker who target members of civil societies. Appin Technology was mentioned in a blogpost. Deibert refused Appin Training Centers’ takedown threat in December, posting a screenshot along with his name and his X feed. You can also contact us by clicking here.: seven middle-finger emojis.

As the backlash to the censorship of reporting on Appin Technology’s alleged hacking snowballs, however, it may now be going beyond a few cases where Appin Training Centers’ and Rajat Khare’s censorship attempts have failed, says Seth Stern, director of advocacy for the Freedom of the Press Foundation, who has The censorship campaign is discussed in this article. He says it could backfire, especially for Appin Technology’s cofounder Rajat Khare. “It does seem like a sort of dubious strategy to be stirring this up now, and I do wonder if he is starting to regret that given the coverage it’s getting,” says Stern. “You could easily see that it’ll do more reputational harm than good for Khare and for Appin.”

Morisy of MuckRock says that he, Techdirt, and the EFF are all aiming to bring attention to the legal threats received by them. “It’s leveraging the Streisand effect to an extent. But also just finding ways to push back,” says Morisy. “There needs to be a cost for groups that are trying to silence journalists.”

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