The governments of the United States and the United Kingdom are permitting the sale of state of the art surveillance equipment to some of the world’s most notorious regimes. Concerned citizens in both nations worry that these devices will be employed by the buyers to monitor activists and those who dare speak out against governmental oppression.
According to a story published by the Guardian newspaper in England, an organization called Privacy International has uncovered the sale of high-tech spy equipment from about 30 British firms to the governments of Iran, Syria, and Yemen, among others. The Privacy International report indicates that American and Israeli outfits are also exporting surveillance systems to these nations and others.
The group, the Guardian story says, “visited international arms and security fairs” where it was able to verify the sales from at least 30 British firms and 50 firms from around the world, chiefly the U.S., Germany, and Israel.
Included in the planned purchases, the story reports, are the apparatuses necessary to monitor cell phone calls, text messages, and all web activity. There are even devices that will enable the government snoops to hack into citizens’ home computers and take remote control of the same.
Frighteningly, statements made by the privacy advocacy organization claim that the surveillance software sold to these countries is so robust that it can give government agents control over the microphones and cameras with which many computers are equipped.
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