This map was created to illustratively showcase international linkages of spyware and surveillance technologies. The research methodology for obtaining the data came from a large variety of sources, thus, the "Source:" section was added to each linkage for transparency on where this information originated. The sales of these technologies to authoritarian regmines threats the peoples of said State, and in a grander scale, showcases the shift towards profiling and tracking all of its respective citizens. One thing this map certainly made me realize is that the number of countries exporting is acutally quite limited, whilst importers are unbounded. Another thing I realized is how secretive countries are about their exports in this context, especially the United States. The image below may highlight what happens when these "advancements" enter the hands of the wrong regime.
Edward Snowden is a former National Security Agency subcontractor who made headlines in 2013 when he leaked top-secret information about NSA surveillance activities. Snowden collected top-secret documents regarding NSA domestic surveillance practices that he found disturbing and leaked them. After he fled to Hong Kong, he met with journalists from The Guardian and filmmaker Laura Poitras. Newspapers began printing the documents that he had leaked, many of them detailing the monitoring of American citizens. The U.S. has charged Snowden with violations of the Espionage Act, while many groups call him a hero. Snowden has found asylum in Russia and continues to speak about his work. Citizenfour, a documentary by Laura Poitras about his story, won an Oscar in 2015.
Julian Assage is an Australian computer programmer who founded the media organization Wikileaks. Practicing what he called “scientific journalism”—i.e., providing primary source materials with a minimum of editorial commentary—Assange, through WikiLeaks, released thousands of internal or classified documents from an assortment of government and corporate entities. WikiLeaks has published a number of scoops, including details about the U.S. military’s detention facility at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, a secret membership roster of the British National Party, internal documents from the Scientology movement, and private e-mails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit.
Chelsea Manning was a U.S. Army intelligence analyst (Formerly Bradley Manning) delivered hundreds of thousands of classified documents that she found troubling to WikiLeaks, and in 2013 was sentenced to 35 years in prison for espionage and theft. In 2009, Manning was stationed at Forward Operating Base Hammer in Iraq, an isolated site near the Iranian border. Her duties as an intelligence analyst there gave her access to a great deal of classified information. Some of this information—including videos that showed unarmed civilians being shot at and killed—horrified Manning. In February 2010, while on leave in Rockville, Maryland, she passed this information—which amounted to hundreds of thousands of documents, many of them classified—to WikiLeaks. President Barack Obama commuted her sentence and she was released from prison in 2017.
My name is E. Wolff, and I am currently a student at Mount Holyoke College. I built this
site for my current course - Cyberpolitics. I was aiming to answer
the following questions with this work, as detailed in my project
1. The international trade of surveillance software and information technology: Who sells to who? Do democratic countries sell spy tech to corrupt regimes? If not, then who does? Who does the United States sell to?
2. How do these different countries use this technology? Why are they buying this technology? Are democratic countries implementing it differently than dictatorships, or the same?
3. Who are the main companies profiting from spyware sales to regimes and where are they based?
I have passions in the fields of cyber advancement, mass surveillance, and domestic and foreign technological warfare. I have likewise included three of the most controversial whistleblowers in recent times to provide scope of how this technology is being used undemocratically against citizens and who has been spearheading this narrative. In order to create this site I conducted quantative and qualitative research to produce inputs for the interactive map I have created above. I would like to thank my professor for allowing me to pursue my passions of technology and foreign affairs by creating this project as my course final.