Wikileaks SpyFiles Show Surveillance Industry ‘Thriving Unchecked’
Wikileaks has released a fresh trove of files on the surveillance industry, raising concerns about an “unchecked” market where Western companies are selling Trojans and other spying kit to repressive regimes for vast sums of money.
Companies that have previously faced scrutiny from human rights bodies, including British supplier Gamma International, exploit seller VUPEN and Italian organisation HackingTeam, featured heavily in the leaks.
Privacy and security experts told TechWeekEurope the Wikileaks SpyFiles show “studies of, installations in and trips to highly repressive countries” by surveillance suppliers, who are doing business “unchecked”.
British surveillance seller in repressive nations
Gamma was shown to be selling its FinSpy kit, which includes Trojans for infecting mobile and desktop machines, for hundreds of thousands of pounds, working closely with a reseller called Dreamlab. FinSpy support, for instance, cost over €255,000 (£215,000) for one year, according to the document.
The global trade of surveillance technology is estimated to be worth up to $5 billion a year.