An RCN lawyer demanded she delete the publish, claiming it was mental property theft. She complied, however the community filed a grievance with federal prosecutors who, in flip, opened a felony investigation. The case, nonetheless pending, carries a attainable high quality of $300,000.
“In the event that they win,” she stated. “I might be financially ruined.”
It was round this time that staff at Educar’s workplaces started to complain about echoes and different voices on their cellphones. They suspected they could be beneath surveillance. Others discovered it exhausting to make use of the web within the workplace. In October, Dr. Cerón’s workplace telephone ceased functioning totally. “Typically we couldn’t work in any respect as a result of our laptops would cease following orders and the mouse would simply do what it needed,” Diana Vivas, the group’s lawyer, stated.
Ms. Lane of Bloomberg Philanthropies was so involved that she stopped utilizing e mail and the telephone to debate technique with Educar. As an alternative, she moved communications to a number of the similar encrypted apps used after the surveillance of soda-tax advocates was found in Mexico.
Referred to as in to research, Andrés Erazo, Educar’s longtime tech advisor, stated he found that antivirus software program on office computer systems had been disabled. He additionally discovered spy ware on the workplace router that gave an unknown outsider entry to the group’s net visitors and on-line communication. In accordance with Mr. Erazo, three cellphones — together with these utilized by Dr. Cerón and Ms. Vivas — had been compromised by adware.
Mr. Erazo urged Dr. Cerón to purchase new cellphones however she refused. “In the event that they’re listening to us, what are they going to listen to?” he recalled her telling him. “We’re speaking a few public well being marketing campaign!”
An unbiased examination of Educar’s computer systems carried out for The New York Occasions by CSIETE, an web safety agency in Bogotá, didn’t flip up any malware. Giovanni Cruz Forero, the agency’s chief government, stated Educar staff had reformated one of many two workplace laptops the agency examined, which might have largely erased any proof of tampering. Mr. Cruz stated it was additionally potential that intruders had taken steps to erase their digital footprints. The agency didn’t look at cellphones of Educar staff.
One early morning in mid-November, Dr. Cerón was startled awake at 5 a.m. by a name to her cellphone.
“Shut up you previous wench,” the caller yelled, in accordance with a report she filed with the Fiscal Basic de la Nación, Colombia’s prosecutorial company.
In early December, Dr. Cerón was strolling to the fitness center when a person, his face obscured by a hooded sweatshirt, accosted her with the identical message. “Cállese,” he yelled earlier than strolling away, or, “maintain your mouth shut.”
She reported each episodes to prosecutors.
A spokesman for the prosecutorial company declined to touch upon Dr. Céron’s complaints, citing privateness guidelines that bar dialogue of instances with anybody in a roundabout way concerned.
Dr. Cerón stopped driving alone. And she or he pressed the native information media to cowl the intimidation, nevertheless it was dealing with its personal challenges from tax opponents.
With its cordon of armed guards, bomb-sniffing canine and airport-fashion X-ray machines, the headquarters of Colombia’s oldest newspaper, El Espectador, is among the many most fortified compounds within the nation. The necessity for such measures is pushed house by a sixth-flooring show: showcased behind glass is a yellowing entrance web page reporting the assassination of El Espectador’s editor, Guillermo Cano, who was gunned down on Dec. 17, 1986, as he drove house from work.
Three years later, an enormous truck bomb shattered the newspaper’s workplaces, killing a reporter and wounding eighty three others. Through the Nineteen Eighties and Nineteen Nineties, violence claimed the lives of a dozen El Espectador staff — all victims of Colombian drug cartels angered by the newspaper’s unflinching protection.
El Espectador information editors stated they sought to cowl the soda tax struggle evenhandedly within the information pages, even because the paper supported the tax in its editorials.
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