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Meet the Cynical Western Companies Helping the Syrian Regime

The New Republic
Publication date: 
Nick Robins-Early
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And then there is Eric King, human rights advisor to Privacy International, who had been investigating the use of surveillance technology by authoritarian regimes for over a year—and who subsequently minced no words when it came to addressing those who furnished the wares, saying that Western companies were going "out of their way" to aid authoritarian regimes. When I recently spoke with him by telephone, King told me of people in post-revolutionary Libya and Egypt who had been sending him pictures of technology that had been acquired by their respective deposed regimes. “There’s barely a week that goes by without an activist sending me a photo of something and saying, ‘What is this and can it spy on me?’,” he says. “And it’s British-made satellite phone surveillance technology.”