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Contact: Simon Davies, Privacy International
[email protected]


New report uncovers a massive international surveillance trade
funded by the arms industry and led by the UK

On Monday 4 December, Privacy International will publish Big
Brother Incorporated, a 150 page report which investigates the
global trade in repressive surveillance technologies. The report, to
be published on several Web sites on the Internet,  shows how
technology companies in Europe and North America provide the
surveillance infrastructure for the secret police and military
authorities in such countries as China, Indonesia, Nigeria, Angola,
Rwanda and Guatemala

The reports primary concern is the flow of sophisticated
computer-based technology from developed countries to
developing countries  - and particularly to non-democratic regimes.
The report demonstrates how these companies have strengthened
the lethal authority of the world's most dangerous regimes.

The report lists the companies, their directors, products and exports.
In each case, source material is meticulously cited. 
Privacy International is publishing the report in digital form in
several sites on the Internet to ensure its accessability by interested
parties anywhere in the world.

Surveillance technologies are defined as technologies which can
monitor, track and assess the movements, activities and
communications of individuals.  More than 80 British companies are
involved, making the UK the world leader in this field. Other
countries, in order of significance, are the United States, France,
Israel, the Netherlands and Germany.

_Big Brother Incorporated_ is the first investigation ever conducted
into this trade.  Privacy International intends to update the report
from time to time using trade fair documents and leaked information
from whistleblowers.

The surveillance trade is almost indistinguishable from the arms
trade. More than seventy per cent of companies manufacturing and
exporting surveillance technology also export arms, chemical
weapons, or military hardware.  Surveillance is a crucial element
for the maintenance of any  non-democratic infrastructure, and is an
important activity in the pursuit of intelligence and political control.
Many countries in transition to democracy also rely heavily on
surveillance to satisfy the demands of police and military. The
technology described in the report makes possible mass
surveillance of populations.  In the past, regimes relied on targeted

Much of this technology is used to track the activities of dissidents,
human rights activists, journalists, student leaders, minorities, trade
union leaders, and political opponents. It is also useful for
monitoring larger sectors of the population. With this technology,
the financial transactions, communications activity and geographic
movements of millions of people can be captured, analysed and
transmitted cheaply and efficiently.

Western surveillance technology is providing invaluable support to
military and totalitarian authorities throughout the world.  One
British computer firm provided the technological infrastructure to
establish the South African automated Passbook system, upon
which much of the functioning of the Apartheid regime  British
surveillance cameras were used in Tianamen Square against the
pro-democracy demonstrators.  In the 1980s,  an Israeli company
developed and exported the technology for the computerised death
list used by the Guatemalan police. Two British companies
routinely provide the Chinese authorities with bugging equipment
and telephone tapping devices. 

	Privacy International was formed in 1990 as a non-government, non-profit
organisation.  It brings together privacy experts, human rights advocates and
technology experts in more than 40 countries, and works toward the goal of
promoting privacy issues worldwide.  The organisation acts as an impartial
on surveillance activities by governments and corporations.

For further information or interview, contact Simon
Davies in London at [email protected]  The address of the web
site is  http://www.privacy.org/pi/reports/big_bro/

David Banisar ([email protected])     *  202-544-9240 (tel)
Privacy International Washington Office *  202-547-5482 (fax)
666 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Suite 301     *  HTTP://www.privacy.org/pi/
Washington, DC 20003                   

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David Banisar ([email protected])     *  202-544-9240 (tel)
Privacy International Washington Office *  202-547-5482 (fax)
666 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Suite 301     *  HTTP://www.privacy.org/pi/
Washington, DC 20003