Big brother incorporated
Today Wikileaks releases nearly 1,100 internal documents, sales brochures and manuals for products sold by the manufacturers of systems for surveillance and the interception of telecommunications.
These new leaks reveal a mass surveillance industry that’s now worth $5 billion a year, with technologies capable of spying on every telephone and Internet network on a national scale. The flagships of this market are called Nokia-Siemens, Qosmos, Nice, Verint, Hacking Team, Bluecoat and Amesys. The documents detailing their interception capabilities will be progressively released online by Wikileaks.
OWNI, who worked in partnership with the Washington Post, The Hindu, L’Espresso, the German channel ARD and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism in this operation which has been dubbed the Spy Files, has attempted to present an overview of this new type of industry, by creating an interactive map and a dedicated site, SpyFiles.org. Andy Mueller-Maguhn, former spokesman for the German Chaos Computer Club (the most influential group of hackers in the world), is also associated with this investigation, to which he has devoted a site, BuggedPlanet.info.
To date, we have documented a total of 133 of these surveillance weapons dealers, including 36 in the United States, 18 in the United Kingdom, 15 in Germany, 11 in Israel and eight in Italy. As with “traditional” arms dealers, most of them are located in rich and democratic countries. 12 of the 26 countries documented are also part of the European Union, which accounts for 62 of these companies.