Author Topic: Privacy International: - Big Brother Incorporated  (Read 2002 times)

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Privacy International: - Big Brother Incorporated
« on: December 01, 2011, 21:24:54 PM »
Big Brother Incorporated

December 1, 2011 by pi

Privacy International and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism have compiled a comprehensive database of companies that sell surveillance products. The database displays the types of product the company makes. Clicking the company name brings up a pop-up box with more information, including (where available) names of key individuals, addresses, websites and Google Map locations. There are also links to the brochures and other materials released by Wikileaks and Privacy International.

In 1995, PI published a report on the international trade in surveillance technology, focusing on the sale of technologies to brutal and oppressive regimes intent on using them as tools of political control. Since then, thanks to the enormous profits involved and the failure of governments and regulatory bodies to intervene, this unethical (and in some cases unlawful) practice has escalated to the extent that we now feel it is crucial to undertake a second investigation. We will be taking practical steps to hold to account those who consistently put their own profit margins before the safety and human rights of others. Media reports now emerging of Western-manufactured surveillance software being used against citizens in Egypt, Bahrain and Libya are unfortunately just the tip of the iceberg.

For too long, Western governments have turned a blind eye to the fact that Western companies are facilitating grave human rights abuses in the Middle East and North Africa. We are therefore calling for a more effective system of export controls governing the sale of dangerous technologies from Europe and the United States, and greater transparency about what surveillance technology companies are developing and who they are selling their products to. By generating and shaping an international public debate about the specific threats posed by surveillance equipment in repressive regimes, we hope to prove a much broader point about how the political economy of surveillance affects the lives and infringes the civil liberties of millions of people all over the world.

Due to the sensitive nature of our work, we are not usually able to make public the details of our ongoing investigations. Most recently, we have been scrutinizing the network of European companies supplying surveillance equipment, software and technical expertise to the Syrian secret services (click here to watch a video of BBI's Eric King discussing our work on Bloomberg). We are also in the process of building strategic litigation against some of the Western companies complicit in human rights abuses by governments and intelligence agencies across the Middle East and North Africa.

Interested in helping out on the Big Brother Incorporated project? We are always looking for keen, dedicated volunteers to assist with legal and factual research and administrative tasks. If you can spare a minimum of 10 hours a week and you want to get involved with BBI, please send your CV and a covering letter to Eric King at [email protected]