A number of companies in the United States are training foreign law enforcement and intelligence officials to code their own surveillance tools. In many cases these tools are able to circumvent security measures like encryption. Some countries are using them to watch dissidents. Others are using them to aggressively silence and punish their critics, inside and outside their borders.
“There’s no substantial regulation,” said Bill Marczak, a senior fellow at the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, who has been tracking the spread of spyware around the globe. “Any government who wants spyware can buy it outright or hire someone to develop it for you. And when we see the poorest countries deploying spyware, it’s clear money is no longer a barrier.”
This is a menacing trend, and one which I do not see getting any better soon.
But intelligent people need to be made to understand that you never blog, email, or communicate with your cell phones, unless that communication is absolutely vanilla, because despotic governments (including that of the US) will use anything you type or say against you, to further and perpetuate their own ends.
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