The Intercept, the news web site famous for its role in publicising Edward Snowden’s massive leak of US National Security Agency files, has named Auckland based network monitoring technology provider, Endace, for its role in helping several national governments snoop on citizens' data.
According to an article on The Intercept’s web site “Dozens of internal documents and emails from Endace, obtained by The Intercept and reported in cooperation with Television New Zealand, reveal the firm’s key role helping governments across the world harvest vast amounts of information on people’s private emails, online chats, social media conversations, and internet browsing histories.”
The Intercept said the files, provided by a source via SecureDrop — a web site run by The Intercept to enable Whistleblowers to provide information anonymously — “Show that Endace listed a Moroccan security agency implicated in torture as one of its customers. They also indicate that the company sold its surveillance gear to more than half a dozen other government agencies, including in the United States, Israel, Denmark, Australia, Canada, Spain, and India.”
It added: “Some of Endace’s largest sales in recent years, however, were to the United Kingdom’s GCHQ, which purchased a variety of “data acquisition” systems and “probes” that it used to covertly monitor internet traffic.”
The article said that Endace’s CEO, Stuart Wilson, had declined to answer questions but had provided a written statement. Wilson highlighted the company’s contribution to New Zealand’s export earnings and re-iterated the stated role of the company’s technology “network recording to protect [organisations’] critical infrastructure and data from cybercriminals, terrorists, and state-sponsored cyber security threats.”
The Intercept also made reference to what it said were Endace advertising brochures from a 2007 surveillance show in Dubai, published by WikiLeaks in 2013, that “described the company’s products and promoted the need for greater state surveillance.”
However the link provided in The Intercept article went only to a presentation by Dan delaMare-Lyon, channel manager, Endace Europe, which promoted the role of the company’s technology for law enforcement and legal intercept, but made no case for increased state surveillance.