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ICC NOTE: News of Central Asian governments using western technology to follow and arrest dissidents has continued the repressive rule of countries like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. In Kazakhstan, many Christian pastors who once called the largest country in the region home, have remained in exile for years likely never to return home. Christian leaders and church members have been known and documented to have been arrested and imprisoned for their beliefs in the region. With the new threat of updated communication tracking software, it will enable said governments to follow and locate those they deem to be a threat to their control. Placing Christians and other religious minorities in the crosshairs. 

8/3/2016 Central Asia (Radio Free Europe) – Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and other authoritarian governments have reportedly acquired cybertools used by Western law enforcement and have been using them to hack and harass dissidents.

Researchers have found that since the early 2000s, companies like Verint and Nice Systems have sold mass surveillance products to the secret police in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, the Associated Press reported.

Israeli technicians from both companies have rotated in and out of Tashkent, the Uzbek capital, for tech support and maintenance.

That equipment has allowed Uzbek secret police to quickly locate and arrest people who discuss sensitive information on the phone or via e-mail, including a dissident Uzbek blogger, the dissidents say.

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