UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Soundbite: The Scramble for Data: How & Why Surveillance Is Being Exported Around the World

03 October 2019, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm


The IGP welcomes Edin Omanovic (Privacy International) for a Soundbite.

Event Information

Open to







Annelise Andersen


LG11 lecture room
Bentham House
4-8 Endsleigh Gardens
United Kingdom

Soundbite: The Scramble for Data: How & Why Surveillance Is Being Exported Around the World

About the Soundbite
This talk explores how neo-colonial and hegemonic countries are exporting and outsourcing digital surveillance capabilities around the world, including to authoritarian governments who use the capabilities to spy on activists, journalists and opposition groups. It looks at how various security agencies and government departments in the US, EU, and China have historically provided surveillance training, technology, and money to foreign surveillance agencies in the context of the Cold War and in the war on drugs and terrorism. Today, much of this outsourcing for surveillance by the US and EU is driven by their desire to deter migration by equipping security forces and exporting mass identification systems, as well as an industry which has captured much of government decision-making. Many of these programmes facilitate abuses, channel resources away from long-term development assistance, and exacerbate the very insecurities they are meant to address.

Edin Omanovic

Edin Omanovic leads advocacy at Privacy International, an NGO focusing on government and corporate surveillance globally. He investigates the surveillance industry and campaigns globally for change to protect people’s rights. Edin was previously a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute where he focused on the arms industry.

Privacy International
Privacy International (PI) is a charity that challenges the governments and companies that want to know everything about individuals, groups, and whole societies. The future PI wants is one where people are in control of their data and the technology they use, and governments and companies are no longer able to use technology to monitor, track, analyse, profile, and ultimately, manipulate and control us. But we have to fight for that future.