Tracked Down: Investigating Digital Arms Dealers

Year
2012
Duration
60 minutes

Imagine a world where the government can read every email sent and listen to every phone call made. An entire country under constant surveillance. Actually you don’t need to imagine, because it’s already a reality. Governments around the world are using the most advanced electronic warfare equipment to monitor their citizens’ every move. The equipment, designed for the fight against terrorism, has found its way into the hands of repressive dictatorial regimes in Libya, Syria and Bahrain. Brutal security forces in these countries use the technology to track down protestors and bloggers, who are swiftly arrested and tortured.
This investigation looks into how these rogue states are buying this equipment through deals with French companies and high ranking members of the Sarkozy government. These business deals are technically legal but surely the companies and the French government have a moral responsibility? Were they aware that the material was to be used against citizens and political opponents in this way? Or did they just not care? We investigate in Libya and Syria and talk to those who arranged the deals. They claim there is a complex political and economic context. But is what they really mean that they value increasing profits over democracy, freedom or human rights?

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