From Privacy International:
A new initiative launched today by Privacy International aims to track the growth and scale of the global surveillance industry, a shadowy sector consisting of companies selling a wide range of electronic surveillance technology to government agencies across the world.
Made available today is the world’s largest publicly available educational resource of data and documents on surveillance, the Surveillance Industry Index (SII), which is based on data collected by journalists, activists, and researchers across the world and is the product of months of collaboration between Transparency Toolkit and Privacy International. Accompanying the index is a landmark report charting the industry’s development and its current reach.
The SII, which is completely searchable, features over 1500 brochures and data on over 520 surveillance companies as well as over 600 reported individual exports of specific surveillance technologies taken from open source records, including investigative and technical reports, as well as government export licensing data. The resource will help the public, activists, journalists and policy makers better understand the modern surveillance industry and technologies.
Along with the Database, a New Report
The report “The Global Surveillance Industry” charts the development of the industry since the earliest reports in the 70s that wiretapping equipment was being exported by Western countries and used by authoritarian regimes. It provides an accessible introduction into the types of the technologies currently on offer, and uses a combination of export data, company data and analysis of surveillance technologies to assess the current industry.
The 528 surveillance companies in the SII are overwhelmingly based in economically advanced, large arms exporting states, with the United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), France, Germany, and Israel comprising the top five countries in which the companies are headquartered. 87% of the companies are headquartered in OECD member states, and 75% of them are in NATO states.
The report then presents an analysis of the surveillance industry in Israel, the US, UK, Germany, and Italy, including an analysis of known exports as well as industry characteristics. It also analyses 152 reported imports of surveillance technologies into the Middle East and North Africa region, and discusses policy developments aimed at regulating the trade in some of the technologies, including through industry self-regulation, sanctions, and export controls.
Direct to Surveillance Industry Index (SII)
Direct to Full Text Report: The Global Surveillance Industry
66 pages; PDF.
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