There had been no news of Wikileaks since October. Publications on Julian Assange’s site were suspended for a lack of funds. Yesterday, Wikileaks returned to centre stage, publishing documents demonstrating a generalised system of surveillance and espionage put in place by governments, with the help of industry.
Julian Assange, still under house arrest in the UK accused of sex offences, used a press conference to throw into the public domain more than a thousand files, contracts, brochures and other documents showing how certain governments, with the help of companies, monitor individuals via their mobile phones, voice mails and traces left on the internet.
Among these governments were Syria, China and Iran – but the list also featured the US, Germany and France.
Today all states – and no longer only the larger intelligence agencies such as the CIA, the FSB (Russian security service) or Mossad – use ultra-sophisticated surveillance systems. Technology enabling geo-localisation, the interception of SMS messages, phone-tapping, Trojan horses, and also voice recognition is now commonplace.
It is estimated that today’s market for communications surveillance systems is worth five billion dollars in annual sales.