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Submission + - Western Companies Helping Repressive Regimes Spy o (

flyingsquid writes: New technologies such as email, the internet, and texting have proven a powerful tool for protesters trying to organize against corrupt and repressive regimes in the Middle East. But regimes are fighting back with sophisticated surveillance technology that allows them to spy on their citizens, according to an NPR interview with journalist Ben Elgin, who has been reporting on this development for Bloomburg "Brandishing transcripts of personal communications and records of whereabouts, officials now routinely use such information to confront, arrest and torture dissidents," reports Elgin. Where does this technology come from? From western companies. The Syrian regime's electronic surveillance infrastructure, for instance, is put together by the Italian company Area SpA, using technology from Paris-based Qosmos SA, German company Utimaco Safeware and California-based (NTAP) The companies claim they have no idea how brutal regimes have ended up using their technology to spy on and interrogate people.

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