Global Inventory of Commercial Spyware & Digital Forensics

Published: 2 March 2023| Version 10 | DOI: 10.17632/csvhpkt8tm.10
Steven Feldstein,


Global inventory of commercial spyware & digital forensics technology procured by governments. Focuses on three overarching questions: Which governments show evidence of procuring and using commercial spyware? Which commercial firms are selling targeted surveillance technology and what are their countries of origin? What types of activities are government agencies using the technology for? This version includes several important changes: --Incorporates two categories of targeted surveillance technologies: spyware and digital forensics (physical tools used to breach digital devices in order to extract and analyze stored data). It does not include other types of targeted surveillance, such as network monitoring/lawful interception technologies. --Organizes the dataset by event type in separate entries rather than aggregating spyware firms by country. --Takes advantage of the wider scrutiny of the spyware industry in the past two years, which has generated more details and sourcing about new vendors and operators. Source material derives from the Citizen Lab, Freedom House, Privacy International, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Cyber Operations Tracker, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Article 19, Access Now, and an assortment of related research organizations. The inventory also includes data from major print and news media outlets (e.g., The New York Times, Reuters, Haaretz, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal). The inventory focuses on incidents occurring between 2011 and 2023. Updated March 2023.



Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


Human Rights, Information and Communication Technologies, Governance, Democracy, Surveillance