WikiLeaks has released secret files shining light on the mass surveillance practices of dozens of governments and the corporate contractors that provide the technology.
The whistle-blowing organization, according to a press release and a new “Spy files” section of the website, is “releasing a database of hundreds of documents from as many as 160 intelligence contractors in the mass surveillance industry.” This latest release – with the help of “Bugged Planet and Privacy International, as well as media organizations form six countries” including the Washington Post in the U.S. – includes 287 documents, but the “Spy files” project will be ongoing.
“In the last ten years,” reads the press release, “systems for indiscriminate, mass surveillance have become the norm.” Some national security contractors even “record the location of every mobile phone in a city, down to 50 meters. Systems to infect every Facebook user, or smart-phone owner of an entire population group are on the intelligence market.”
The contractors and countries included in the Spy files release include SS8 and Blue Coat in the U.S, Gamma corporation in the U.K., Ipoque in Germany, Amesys and Vupen in France, VASTech in South Africa, ZTE Corp in China, Phoenexia in the Czech Republic, among others.
In one of the more striking revelations in this release, high-tech intelligence and surveillance capabilities are helping to expand the drone war. The CIA has purchased software “that allows them to match phone signals and voice prints” to locate individuals when flying heavily armed Predator drones.