The UK is a worldwide exporter of surveillance technology. From devices that hoover up phone calls and text messages, to hardware for monitoring internet traffic.
“The transfer of these technologies cannot be divorced from human rights concerns,” Matthew Rice, advocacy officer at UK activist group Privacy International, told Motherboard in an email. “The use of spying technology plays a very real role in human rights abuses such as torture and cruel or inhuman treatment. The misuse of these invasive surveillance technologies is a human rights violation in and of itself, interfering with the fundamental right to privacy.”
To better illustrate this proliferation, Motherboard has created an interactive map using data published by the Department of International Trade, as well as extra details obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, such as the specific product exported, or the company that sold it. The map shows which countries the government has granted export licenses to since 2015, and includes telecommunications interception equipment, intrusion or hacking software, and internet monitoring tools.
You can find the map here, and various related datasets below.