How US Companies Help Central Asian Autocrats Eavesdrop
American companies are supplying technology that the governments of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are using to spy on their citizens’ communications and clamp down on dissent, according to a new report from the U.K.-based advocacy group Privacy International.
Verint Systems, a manufacturer of surveillance systems headquartered in Melville, N.Y., has sold software and hardware to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan that is capable of mass interception of telephone, mobile, and Internet networks, the group alleged in its Nov. 20 report. It also provided the training and technical support needed to run them, the report said.
Verint, which claims customers in 180 nations, in turn sought decryption technology made by a firm in California, Netronome, as it helped the Uzbek government attempt to crack the encryption used by Gmail, Facebook, and other popular sites, according to the report.