This post first appeared on FloatingPath
Privacy International has just released what they call a Surveillance Industry Index which is essentially a compilation of sales pitches from the biggest spy tech manufacturers to the biggest governments in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Slowly, ever since Edward Snowden began his massive document-leaking campaign, citizens have come to realize privacy is difficult to attain. Seemingly everyday a new headline uncovers another bit of giant spying. Today, it’s been found that the NSA logged 33 million phone calls in Norway, a friendly NATO ally, over the span of only one month.
What’s surprising is that while most governments seem to be reacting with disdain and disapproval over these efforts, it is not stymieing their interest in the newest spy technology. The documents contained within the Index were obtained from trade shows in major cities like Dubai, Prague, Brasilia, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, London and others. One, for example, claimed to “capture up to 1 billion intercepts a day” via its “massive passive monitoring.”
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Privacy International, in releasing this information, has called for global regulation akin to that of weapons manufacturing.
“This lack of regulation has allowed companies to export surveillance technology to countries that use their newly acquired surveillance capability to spy on human rights activists, journalists and political movements.”
The 1203 documents detailing 97 technologies were collected from 338 surveillance vendors in 35 countries around the world. Here is a small sample of what the new gun running looks like..