Online freedom under threat
For some companies in the west, selling surveillance technologies is a lucrative business: technologies that allow you to spy on computers and monitor the users. "Western countries are not limiting that trade. They are not putting any restrictions on what technology can go where. And that is a huge problem," warned Eric King of Privacy International, an NGO that is trying to monitor the export of surveillance technology.
A specialist in computer privacy, who prefers to remain anonymous, tells the story of Iranian activists: Their computers were hacked into, the data was passed on to the government - using a program developed in Germany and sold by a British company. Privacy International is calling for a ban on such exports - but politicians are hesitant.