Communications Data Bill: Technology is making dystopia not just possible, but cheap
Posted in: Censorship at 07/08/2012 18:55
Wide-eyed internet visionaries told us technology would free its users from the iron grip of states, with the internet blind to borders and not respecting the dictats of bureaucrats. Instead technology is making dystopia not just possible, but cheap. Unthinkingly we're sending our most private data across the internet thinking it a private space. Exploiting this weakness, Western technology companies have spotted a market for surveillance equipment that allows governments to hoover up data - and use it to spy on their citizens. Much of this technology has been exported to authoritarian states, but as we are discovering, if you allow British firms to flout human rights abroad, the rot begins to set in at home.
Gamma Group is run from a non-descript warehouse unit in a commercial park on the edge of Andover. This blandness is a deceit. Gamma sell a product called FinFisher, a piece of software that infects a computer and takes full control of it, allowing Skype calls to be intercepted and every keystroke the user types to be sent across the internet to another computer. The software is so sophisticated human rights groups initially couldn't even prove it existed. Now, the University of Toronto Munk School has published research said to show that Bahraini activists have been targeted using FinFisher.