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Knight Center

JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

WikiLeaks' latest "Spy Files" document release exposes secrets of global surveillance



On Thursday, Dec. 1, WikiLeaks published its latest document trove: more than 287 files related to 160 intelligence contracting companies in 25 countries that "develop technologies to allow the tracking and monitoring of individuals by their mobile phones, email accounts and Internet browsing histories," reported AFP.

WikiLeak's Spy Files show that "across the world, mass surveillance contractors are helping intelligence agencies spy on individuals and ‘communities of interest’ on an industrial scale. 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," WikiLeaks said on its website.

While previous WikiLeaks releases, such as the secret documents related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, have gone to newspapers such as The New York Times and The Guardian, this time the whistle-blower site is working with media outlets from six countries – the Washington Post in the United States, ARD in Germany, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism in the UK, The Hindu in India, L’Espresso in Italy, and OWNI in France.

Earlier this week, after WikiLeaks was awarded the prestigious Australian Walkley award for most outstanding contribution to journalism, founder Julian Assange, speaking at the Global Editors Network summit, accused the mainstream press of being corrupt, adding that some of the best reporting on the WikiLeaks release of diplomatic cables came from newspapers in India, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Kenya, according to Journalism.co.uk. Earlier this year Assange had a falling out with The New York Times, the Guardian and other former WikiLeaks partners, all of which condemned WikiLeak's uncensored release of its entire cache of 251,287 secret diplomatic cables.

Meanwhile, Forbes pointed out that the new anonymous dropbox for leaked information that WikiLeaks was supposed to launch Nov. 28 still has not materialized.



2 comments

 
Surveillance|camera wrote 2 years 11 weeks ago

City Surveillance

In South Africa our city surveillance systems has made a world of difference. Violent crime offenders get reprimanded thanks to the footage available. The decrease in crime in the CBD's is a welcome change that we wont easily give up.

 
Bruce Kasanoff wrote 2 years 20 weeks ago

Surveillance fan letter

Edna Munson of Prairie Falls, ID recently received this letter (posted at NowPossible):

Dear Edna:

How was your recent trip to Los Angeles? I couldn’t help noticing that big grin on your face as you left the Getty Museum. Truth be told, your smile is so infectious, I followed you all over town.

Not to worry, I wasn’t actually in LA. I have a hard time getting around (long story), so I use the millions of cameras that are operating remotely around the world to travel vicariously. Pattern recognition software helps, which is how I spotted that lovely pink and blue blouse of yours entering the Staples Center. Great concert, wasn’t it?

Much as I love convertibles, I’m not a big fan of LA freeways and can’t say it’s wise to race down the 101 at 81.2 mph the way you did on Tuesday. Your girlfriend can wait, and besides More Than Waffles ain’t going anywhere; your girlfriend – Annie, right? – can wait a few extra minutes.

Not to creep you out – I’m happily and faithfully married for nine years – but you are in amazing shape. Not many women rock a bikini like you did in Venice, and I mean that sincerely.

I’m done following you, no kidding, but just wanted you to know that you bring energy to the world and that’s a wonderful thing.

An Admirer

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