The technologies developed by this industry can be used to access Internet browsing histories and email accounts, through computing tapping or accessing mobile phones remotely. This information is then sold as wholesale information to governments or other private industry partners.
Speaking at City University in London, he said that the publication of the 'Spy Files' is intended to be a "mass attack on the mass surveillance industry". He described the interception of this data as "lawful", it will lead society to a "totalitarian surveillance state".
Along with representatives from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and Privacy International, documents were shown to suggest that software could not only read emails and text messages on mobile phones, but invasively alter them and send out fake messages to others.
In the past ten years, he highlighted, the private industry had grown from a covert, behind-the-scenes industry, that primarily sold the U.S. National Security Agency, and GCHQ, the UK's third intelligence service.
Wikileaks released today 287 documents, documenting "the reality of the international mass surveillance industry", highlighting how "dictators and democracies alike" can procure this "spying system" technology developed by U.S., the UK, Australia and Canada.
Last month, it was found that Leeds-based company Datong plc.sold phone tracking and remote-disability technology to Scotland Yard, home of London's Metropolitan Police, which could then be used to track protestors or disable remotely shut-off mobile phones en masse.
In one case, a subsidiary of Nokia Siemens Networks, Trovicor supplied the government of Bahrain technology that enabled the tracking of human rights activists, the Wikileaks website said.
U.S.-based company SS8, along with Hacking Team in Italy and Vupen in France, are all said to manufacture Trojan malware that can hijack computers and phones -- including BlackBerrys, iPhones and Android devices -- and "record its every use, movement, and even the sights and sounds of the room it is in".
Wikileaks said that other companies like Czech Republic-based Phoenexia collaborate with military units to create speech analysis tools, allowing the government to acquire intelligence based on identified gender, age and even their vocal stress levels.
In one document dating back to 2006, it shows how the U.S. Department of Homeland Security sold technology to the oppressive Libyan regime to "intercept data" and acquire the "localisation of GSM", the ability to locate where mobile phones are located geographically.
Another leaked document from 2011 shows how one UK firm is "depended upon" by the government, including "law enforcement agencies, intelligence and military agencies [and] special forces". Such technologies can be "integrated into bespoke solutions for static, tracking and mobile overt and covert surveillance".