BAE Systems is the biggest arms company in Britain. In a recent report published by BBC, the arms company secretly sold mass surveillance technology to six Middle Eastern governments that are known to repress their citizens.
The technology has the capability to secretly look into the mobile phones and emails of people. This has caused uproar from human rights groups that are of the view that the technology will be used to jail or silence dissidents.
As per the documents that have been collected by the BBC, this surveillance technology from BAE Systems has been sold to the governments of Qatar, Oman, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Algeria, in recent years.
The documents highlights the concern that selling this technology can compromise with the security of Britain and its allies.
Speaking on the matter, BAE Systems stated that due to strict national security and confidentiality regulations they operate under, nothing can be said about the contract.
The manufacturer stated that some of the claims made by BBC are wrong, however, it did not specified which ones, reasoning that it has commitment to operate responsibly and ethically.
According to an investigation published by BBC on Wednesday, this controversial sales of the technology was made by a company in Denmark which was purchased by BAE Systems in 2011.
as per the findings this company is known as BAE Systems Applied Intelligence which sells surveillance tools that have the capability to collect, analyse and catalogue millions of electronic communications between people.
According to an unknown individual who talked with BBC, the technology can be used to intercept any traffic on internet. You can even tap the information of the entire country. The search can even be narrowed down to a specific person or a specific email address.
The individual also added that one can pinpoint the location of a person through the information that is transmitted by that person’s mobile phone. According to BBC, the technology also has the ability to break down encrypted information.
In 2015 the British officials disapproved the export of this technology as it was feared that the technology can be used to decrypt and read Britain’s own sensitive communications.
However, the export of this technology was approved by the Danish government mainly because there was no objection from its intelligence service and foreign affairs advisers.
This technology from BAE Systems is called the Evident.
BBC located two person who are considered to be employed to install and operate the Evident surveillance system in Tunisia at the time of dictatorship of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.
His regime has been considered as the most repressive in the Arab world, and many of the opponents were tortured and locked up.
BAE Systems stated that the technology of the company has played an important role in enabling the security of UK and its Allies. Its aim is to help keep the public safe, support law enforcement and combat international terrorism.
BAE Systems also added that the company has robust procedures and policies to make sure that the exports to overseas government is according to the international exports agreement.