Spy Tech Companies & Their Authoritarian Customers, Part II: Trovicor and Area SpA

This is the second part in an EFF series. Part I, on UK-based FinFisher and France-based Amesys, can be read here

On Sunday, CNN reported that dozens of activists in Syria have had their computers infected with malware that allows supporters of dictator Bashar al-Assad to spy on their every move. The virus, according to CNN, “passes information it robs from computers to a server at a government-owned telecommunications company.” Meanwhile in Iran, the government has cut off most encrypted web traffic flowing through the country, meaning ordinary Iranians have lost the ability to safely use many popular communications tools like Gmail, Twitter, and Facebook.

Unfortunately, these stories are just the latest examples of authoritarian governments stifling Internet freedom, as many governments in the Middle East have a long history of using technology to censor, track, and arrest dissidents. Critically, though, these governments would not have these capabilities without the help of American and E.U. companies that sell this state-of-the-art spying equipment. Two of the worst purveyors of this technology, Trovicor and Area SpA, are profiled here: (more on eff.org)