The Wikileaks release also included material from Paladion, based in India, containing claims that the company could trace encrypted banking transactions and Gmail messages.
Ron Deibert, director of Internet think-tank Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, has long studied the global spread of such technologies and their ready adoption by governments. The technologies on offer include social networking mapping, cell phone tracking, location tracking, and so-called “deep packet inspection” techniques used to read the content of passing Internet traffic.
The growing role of the Internet in everyday life and business is creating a rich trove of digital information about people, companies, and nations, Deibert noted in a recent blog post. “Unsurprisingly, a massive cyber industrial complex has sprouted around the commercial exploitation of [it],” he wrote. Deibert notes that censoring the Web used to be considered an undertaking for only hubristic, authoritarian regimes, but is now being considered by defense departments worldwide being courted by corporations like those featured in the new Wikileaks documents.