While Americans shuddered over revelations about NSA surveillance earlier this year, hundreds of private companies have been marketing technology that lets anybody be a spy. We're not talking about a few nanny cams here and there, either. We're talking about military-grade tools for whomever has the cash.
The anti-surveillance group Privacy International just published a massive store of documents related to private companies selling surveillance equipment on the global market, and the contents are unsettling. In total, there are 1,203 documents detailing 97 different surveillance technologies, including everything from sophisticated spy cameras to software that can intercept phone call data, text messages and emails—just like the NSA does. The companies are also marketing these things to some of the world's worst despots.