Wikileaks releases “spy files” – reveals who and what surveillance companies sell

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Screenshot from Wikileaks' 'The Spy Files' map (Image: Terence Huynh)

Just within a week of being awarded the Walkley for their contribution to journalism, Wikileaks has now set its targets on the surveillance industry with the release of the “Spy Files” – releasing hundreds of documents from over 160 intelligence contractors from 25 countries, even from our neighbour New Zealand.

“International surveillance companies are based in the more technologically sophisticated countries, and they sell their technology on to every country of the world,” the website said in its introduction.

“This industry is, in practice, unregulated. Intelligence agencies, military forces and police authorities are able to silently, and on mass, and secretly intercept calls and take over computers without the help or knowledge of the telecommunication providers.”

“The Wikileaks Spy Files reveal the details of which companies are making billions selling sophisticated tracking tools to government buyers, flouting export rules, and turning a blind eye to dictatorial regimes that abuse human rights.”

The website has partnered with Bugged Planet and Privacy International; and with its new media partners – public broadcaster ARD (Germany), The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (UK), newspapers The Hindu (India), The Washington Post (USA), L’Expresso and La Repubblica (Italy), and French publication OWNI – to release and report their findings.

So expect shocking revelations a-la the US State Department Cables.