Surveillance

Authoritarian Regimes Rely on a Few Companies for Internet Surveillance Tech

Enablers

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National governments are increasingly purchasing surveillance devices manufactured by a small number of corporate suppliers and using them to control dissidents, spy on journalists, and violate human rights, the advocacy group Reporters Without Borders warns in a new report released this afternoon.

The group's 2013 report for the first time names five private-sector companies "Corporate Enemies of the Internet" for their choice to become "digital mercenaries" and sell surveillance and censorship technology to authoritarian regimes.

"If these companies decided to sell to authoritarian regimes, they must have known that their products could be used to spy on journalists, dissidents, and netizens," Reporters Without Borders says. The companies: the U.K.'s Gamma Group, Germany's Trovicor, Italy's HackingTeam, France's Amesys, and Blue Coat Systems, based in Sunnyvale, Calif.