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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.



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