A magnifying glass is held in front of a computer screen in this picture illustration taken in Berlin

Meet the private companies that sell spy tech to the NSA and Sudan

The multi-billion dollar private surveillance industry does some of the U.S. government’s most critical electronic snooping. From “deep packet inspection” — that includes tracking and filtering emails — to phone taps, private contractors play a key role for law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

Besides the U.S. government, some of these companies count the world’s worst human rights violators as clients, according to privacy advocates.

This week on Shortwave, we speak with James Bamford, a writer and documentary film producer who specializes in stories about mass surveillance.