December 2, 2011
Assange Claims Existence Of Global Mobile Device Spy Network
A new project launched by Wikileaks will reveal evidence of a global surveillance network that allows governments to spy on their citizens through their smartphones and other mobile devices, website founder Julian Assange told reporters Thursday.
According to the Mirror, Assange has said that he has obtained evidence that companies are selling information that they have gathered by monitoring mobile phones and computers. In fact, he claims that over 150 different organizations worldwide have the ability to track people using handsets, intercept text messages, and listen to calls.
Those documents are being published the website's "Spy Files" project.
"Mass interception of entire populations is not only a reality, it is a secret new industry spanning 25 countries," Wikileaks said, according to Chris Martin of The Inquirer. "It sounds like something out of Hollywood, but as of today, mass interception systems, built by Western intelligence contractors, including for 'political opponents' are a reality."
In addition, Assange told reporters, "Who here has an iPhone? Who here has a BlackBerry? Who here uses Gmail? Well, you're all screwed“¦ The reality is, intelligence contractors are selling right now to countries across the world mass surveillance systems for all those products."
287 filed were released as part of the project launch, Assange said.
AFP's Alice Ritchie says that alongside the "Spy Files" announcement, Wikileaks partner Owni.fr released evidence that allegedly shows that French electronics company Amesys helped former Libyan rule Moamer Kadhafi spy on opposition members who were forced to live in exile in the UK.
"Owni also published the user manual provided to the Libyans to operate their Internet spying system, which it boasts can intercept emails and webmail, VOIP calls, instant messages and search engine requests," Ritchie said.
"Contacted by AFP, Amesys said that Libya had been under no trade embargo after 2003, and that a number of French and international companies had done business with Kadhafi's government," she added. "The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) has lodged a legal complaint over Amesys' contract with Libya in a French court, alleging complicity in rights abuses."
The 40-year-old, Australian-born Assange is currently in Britain, where he is fighting extradition to Sweden on rape and sexual assault charges. According to Ritchie, his case is scheduled to return to court on Monday.
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