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The (Norwegian/US) Surveillance industry Part 1, 2 and 3

The (Norwegian/US) Surveillance industry Part 1, 2 and 3

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Published by occupyoslo

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Published by: occupyoslo on Feb 14, 2012
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07/05/2012

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SURVEILLANCE
 –
BUSINESS part 1With this box, the dreaded Syrian intelligence service can easily crush any opponents of the regime. Therouter is produced by an American company, - and Norway as an investor.THE WATCHERS
 
The Arab spring have caused Klondike-like environment for a very dangerous multimillion dollar business,- the surveillance industry. New opportunities for mass-surveillance have emerged and is a major hit withboth dictatorships, democracies and Norway's petroleum found.*Written by Osman Kibra*
 
The power is out. Aladdin sits in the dark, but he is online. From his hiding place on the Syriancountryside he prepares to report how many killed and wounded he have seen today.He connects to the web via satellite, and get in touch with Dagens Næringsliv (the news paper with thearticle). Prior to the riots, the father of 3 did not use internet much. He made a living transportingvegetables with his truck. Then, when almost everyone he knew in his village got killed in a period of 20
days, he decided to fight Assad’s dictatorship in his own way. He acquired an illegal satellite phone, some
computer equipment and started reporting, sending pictures and videos of the daily killings. 10 monthslater, he has lost count of the causalities. Only this day, he witnessed four killings.-
I don’t have a choice, Basar Al Assad have killed my people. He continues to kill my people. Should I
 just run away and let all these people get killed?- His home has been ransacked several times, and the activist can get caught anytime. No means ofcommunication is safe anymore.- He knows that using a cell phone or hooking up to the internet is one of the riskiest things dissidents ofSyria can do these days. The government have armed them self with new modern technology whichenables them to detect and servile dissidents quicker than ever before. Almost every single email, phonecall or Internet connection can be traced. When the dissidents are identified, lots of them gets arrested,tortured and killed. Aladdin is one of the few who knows how to circumvent the surveillance in one of the
world’s most dangerous countries.
Whilst the riot in Syria is heading into its most dangerous phase, the Arab spring have brought forward aKlondike for a little known, top secret multimillion dollar industry: the mass surveillance industry.THE WATCHERS MEETING POINT Part 2
 
In the lobby of a 5 star American luxury hotel in Kuala Lumpur, the mood is gloomy. The suspicion stickswith every one checking in the last 24 hours. If one look away from a small sign at the counter in thereception, there is nothing indicating that something special is about to happen. The 950 invited, are notnormal hotel guests. They belong to a privileged elite of surveillance experts, military intelligence officers,police chiefs and spy's. In addition to the people keeping the lowest profile of them all. Producers andsellers of surveillance equipment.
 
The gathering, Intelligence Security Systems World, al
so known as “Watchers ball” is the surveillance
industries most important meeting point. Here comes everyone who is selling or buying the latestdevelopment in surveillance. Everything that happens at ISS is becomes and stays governmental secrets.The entire fourth floor of the Hilton hotel is closed of security people make sure that none other thanthose invited get inn.
 
PAGE 44 Part 3The surveillance industry can keep up with peoples' most private information through secret backdoors that exist in a lot of modern communication technology. The new billion dollar industry hasbeen able to develop without interference, in spite of the law, and with minimal public insight. Thepress is banned.Through a side door at the Hilton it was possible for the reporters from DN to get in and paya visit to the world's foremost experts on surveillance and contra-espionage anyway.ALL THE DICTATORS' MENAt ISS World's surveillance conferences there's room for all kinds of authoritarian regimes. Belarus,Vietnam, Bahrain, Saudi-Arabia. Zimbabwe. The dirt poor South-Sudan is not yet six months oldand lacks many things, but has four participants here.Those not present can get the equipment through middle men and straw men. Thus theproducers can deny any connection with the transaction in a plausible way, according to a formerparticipant. Most of the sales meetings are in closed rooms. These are after all the people that haveturned paranoia into a lucrative business.When the conference was established, the same year as 9/11, there was only a handful ofparticipants at ISS World. Today the conference is held five times a year with more than 1000participants from 50 countries. The best visited one is in Dubai, starting next week. Thetechnological development has fuelled an explosion of supply and demand from surveillancewillinggovernments, not just in the Middle East. Asia and Europe as well. The number ofcompanies that offer surveillance equipment is on the rise. Chinese traders that know the art ofsurveillance from the home market, are conquering new market shares. The accounts of establishedtraders show an increased turnover. The fear of political upheaval that has spread in arabiccountries, in the crisis-hit EU-countries and in the US, has led to a substantial strengthening in thesurveillance area of state-security services, in dictatorships as well as in democracies.THE SURVEILLANTS FROM OMANIn a corner of the lobby area at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur, a chinese salesman has a meeting withfour representatives from an arabic security service, and they don't appreciate being observed fortoo long. Surrounded by 10 meter tall marble columns and obsequious waiters, deep in brownleather chairs, the surveillance bosses converse lightly with the salesmen.The delegation of four police officers and surveillance bosses from the small sultanate ofOman are always accompanied by the same Chinese salesman. The Chinese in front, purposefullypointing at a document and telling what's the next topic, while the special agents are trying to keeptrack of admittance cards, advertising brochures, sponsored shoulder bags, smart phones and otherdigital gizmos, as if they were attending a festival. Here in Kuala Lumpur the surveillants of Omanare going to attend sales meetings, lectures, dinners and practical courses on how to surveil morepeople, faster. The program offers: How to control cloud computing, geographical localization,tapping of satellite phones, spying on social media.The arab world's second longest ruling head of state put an effective end to a startingrebellion demanding more freedom of speech and less corruption las year, helped by technologyfrom the west. Using Skype has long since been illegal in the small country, it's also illegal tocriticize the sultan.Dressed in grey, the surveillants are as anonymous as liquid glass. A german salesmancontently turns his laptop towards his arabic customer and points at the screen. The technology hedemonstrates is merciless. The surveilled person thinks he's talking safely on Skype because it'sencrypted. In reality everything he says is being tapped
 –
and recorded. The buyer nods. Thesalesmen from Kuala Lumpur have red admittance cards, the customers' are yellow. Older veteranshave brought along younger computer experts who master the new technology. Some are morecasually dressed and have a secretary. When they speak, the others all turn a bit more obsequious.Technology makes them almost invincible.

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