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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

World is Being Watched

Wikileaks keeps releasing documents within their Spy Files project proving that the industry is largely condoned. They started with the information about the British Foreign Secretary being linked to a company involved into the surveillance industry, pointing out that many intelligence agencies, military forces and police are able to secretly intercept everyone’s phone calls and take over computers without knowledge of the service providers.

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Privacy International confirmed that the industry certainly has a reason for alarm and welcomed the latest releases of the worldwide-known whistle-blowing website. The representative of the outfit claimed they have been investigating this lucrative and highly dangerous trade for more than a year, and they are deeply concerned by what they had found out.

It appears that the technologies of mass surveillance, which 15 years ago seemed unthinkable in their scope and audacity, are today a common practice, with the companies having no qualms about selling such technologies to oppressive regimes. Privacy International says that the fact that such documents are currently published and the surveillance industry has been exposed to general scrutiny should be welcomed by everyone. Now people can see that such trade has been allowed to flourish without interference of any regulators and legislators.

However, this is just the beginning. The next task is to ensure that the companies producing surveillance technology are prevented from selling their dangerous wares to regimes like Syria and Iran, and make sure that the use of such technology is properly regulated further.

The industry experts admitted that today there’s even open source software available online. This means that once the technology has been invented, others will be able to reproduce it easily in many cases. The same can be applied to hardware as well. For example, China can easily manufacture and reproduce technology after it was released. Still, the inaction leaves the impression that the repressive surveillance practices are largely condoned, and that’s what Wikileaks claims they are.

According to the service’s statement, the companies in the west are engaged into selling to western intelligence agencies as well, which indicates a global problem. All over the world, mass surveillance contractors help intelligence agencies spy on people on an industrial scale, which is something to consider.

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